Milkshake is a band on a mission: to create great rock music for kids. Led by singer Lisa Mathews and guitarist Mikel Gehl, whose songs for grown-ups have been featured in movies and prime-time television, and whose indie rock group Love Riot garnered critical praise during its 10-year run, Milkshake has won over preschoolers without compromising songcraft, stagecraft or their authentic rock&roll spirit.
From the release of their first CD Happy Songs (inspired by the birth of Lisa’s daughter and Mikel’s son), it was clear that Milkshake was an exciting departure from traditional kids’ music. The band’s songs were added to radio playlists across the country; a second CD, Bottle of Sunshine, earned raves from kids, parents and critics;Noggin enlisted Lisa and Mikel to film two videos for the premiere season of Jack’s Big Music Show; and Milkshake was asked to bring its high-energy stage act to the opening leg of the Jamarama Live! tour.
Milkshake has created original songs and videos for PBS KIDS’ “Share the Earth Day” programming, new songs and videos for Discovery Kids’ preschool hitToddWorld, the west coast leg of Jamarama Live!and a just-completed 10-song-and-video project for PBS KIDS preschool programming block.
2007 saw the official release of Milkshake’s 3rd CD PLAY!, a celebration of every kid’s desire to just have fun. Hook- and harmony-filled, PLAY! covers all the bases, with songs about baseball (featuring a cameo from hometown hero Cal Ripken, Jr.), bowling, pretending, playing music, parades, planting a garden and just plain going wild. As a bonus, the disc includes the three new songs Milkshake created forToddWorld.
In fall 2008 the band released SCREEN PLAY, a DVDchock full of live-action and computer-animated videos, candid backstage clips and performance footage that showcase their animated, good-humored nature. Bonus tracks include two original videos created for PBS KIDS.
Milkshake took another step forward with the August 2009 release of their fourth studio CD, Great Day. The release was nominated for a 2010 Grammy Award for Best Musical Album for Children. Produced by music veteran Tor Hyams (Joan Osborne, Edwin McCain), the disc features a dozen Milkshake originals, plus guest appearances by Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer and Rodney Henry (former front man of the legendary kings of the Baltimore hard rock-garage-rockabilly scene, The Glenmont Popes). The songs on ‘Great Day’ touch on issues of friendship, inclusion, family, self-esteem, goals, and material desires – issues that really matter to a 6 – 10 year old. But like all Milkshake CDs, the music really transcends age, and both younger and older fans will enjoy this release.
For their fifth CD recording, Milkshake presents Got a Minute?, a disc of 33 short songs, released March 2013. Inspired by their 13 songs for PBS KIDS which are each a minute long (and included on this disc), the band set about writing songs no longer than 2 minutes. A few exceed that by a teeny amount, but overall this collection is perfect for short attention spans and fleeting moments. Co-produced with Milkshake’s favorite producer and long-time friend Dave Nachodsky, it features guest appearances by two-time GRAMMY® winners Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, singer/bagpiper extraordinaire, Kyf Brewer, guitarist Howard Markman, pedal-steel guitarist Dave Hadley, rapper Alex Handy, violinist Willem Elsevier, bassist and tuba player Adrian Cox, and kid singers Vance Thomas, Lauren Rielly, Eric Gehl and Jesse Anderson. In many ways, this last Milkshake CD for kids fulfills Milkshake’s initial goal of reflecting the growth of their children, finally coming full-circle as the kids get older. Because of the child-like naiveté and simplicity of the PBS KIDS songs, combined with the all-over-the-map subject matter of the new songs, Got a Minute? provides a retrospective of the childhood years from toddler to tween. Enjoy this disc, which truly has something for all ages and provides a perfect coda to the Milkshake catalog.
With tuneful, memorable songs that evoke influences from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Lennon-McCartney to The White Stripes, Milkshake continues to create music that appeals to both kids and their parents, even after listening to the same CD five times in a row.