Sing (and Play) Along with Andrew and Polly

A few weeks ago we attended a two-year-old’s birthday party, and we were pleasantly entertained by the musical stylings of Andrew & Polly.

Hello? Who's this? Andrew answers a "banana phone" while Polly plays along to the kiddie (and parent) crowd. This duo is music to ears of all ages on LA's West Side.

“Hello? Who’s this?” Andrew entertains the kids by answering his “banana phone” while Polly plays to the kiddie (and parent) crowd. The duo of Andrew & Polly is music to ears of all ages on LA’s West Side and beyond. Bravo!

I guess we are way out of the loop… well, out of the West LA loop anyway. Though we’d not yet heard of Andrew & Polly, it turns out that this musical duo has been keeping families of this Southland neighborhood happy and singing together for a little while now. They regularly perform free shows at small, local book stores and other cozy children’s retail venues. Our friends first discovered them at one of these shows while at Children’s Book World, a popular-with-the-family-set West LA book shop (you know, like a community book store; yes, they still exist!).

Polly (of Andrew & Polly) plays the Glockenspiel (not a xylophone!) with the kids during T's friend's birthday party.

Polly (of Andrew & Polly) plays the Glockenspiel (not a xylophone!) with the kids during T’s friend’s birthday party.

The Andrew & Polly back-story goes a little something like this. Per their Children’s Book World mini-bio, “By day Andrew is a film composer and Polly creates music and sound design for commercials. In their spare time, they write and perform friendly, engaging music for children of all ages. Their folksy vocal harmony and cornucopia of acoustic instruments (mandolins, accordions, ukuleles, shakers, bananas) delight kids and parents alike.”

Kids lined up to play Andrew's (of Andrew & Polly) accordion. Audience involvement is what makes the Andrew & Polly shows so engaging for kids and parents alike.

Kids lined up to play Andrew’s (of Andrew & Polly) accordion. Audience involvement is what makes the Andrew & Polly shows so engaging for kids and parents alike.

Kids formed a drum line during one of Andrew & Polly's birthday shows.

Kids formed a drum line during one of Andrew & Polly’s birthday shows.

And delight kids and parents they do! The kids at the party we attended ranged in age from around 3-to-6 months up to about five-years-old. At different intervals during the one-hour performance, Andrew & Polly invited the kids to go up and try out their instruments, and throughout the entire performance kids had access to their own child-sized percussion instruments so they could play and sing along with the show.

More Glockenspiel fun at the Andrew & Polly show!

More Glockenspiel fun at the Andrew & Polly show!

Periodically, Andrew & Polly even opened their show up to requests from the kids and parents both. I have a pretty strong memory of a Billy Joel medley, so don’t worry that all of the tunes in their shows will be kid-centric. Much like one of our own favorite children’s bands, Hullabaloo, Andrew & Polly know exactly what sorts of songs will keep “ages 3-to-103” engaged and involved in the concert… and in a fresh and fun, happy and harmonious way.

T and the birthday boy E (behind) sing and play alongside Andrew & Polly.

T and the birthday boy E (behind) sing and play alongside Andrew & Polly.

It’s too bad that we just now are finding out about Andrew & Polly. While T LOVED them, I bet he’d have been seriously fan-boy’ing on them at age two like his little birthday friend. He’d also have been begging his Grandma Shirl to take him down to the West Side for a show or two (or 10) each time he’d visited (and she’d have happily done so).

T relived some of his recent Hawaiian vacation by playing a little bit of ukulele after an Andrew & Polly show.

T relived his recent Hawaiian vacation by playing a bit of ukulele after an Andrew & Polly show.

Speaking of shows, if you want to see Andrew & Polly perform, their next show at Children’s Book World is Saturday February 16, 2013 (more details on that show are here). If you can’t make that, then go here for more news and information on their happenings and other scheduled appearances. They’re also starting to build their audiences on Twitter and Facebook, too.

Encore, Andrew & Polly!

RMT’ers, what are some of your favorite kids’ musicians or bands? Where do they play? We are always looking for new music at home or on the road, so please share your sing-song secrets!

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