Matt Heaton believes music for kids can be entertaining for both children AND parents. His songs are a mix of rockabilly, surf, american roots and Irish traditional music, delivered with a wry sense of humor and a sincere sense of fun. Children and adults respond to his musicianship and variety. The adults in the room particularly appreciate the Muppet-esque touches of humor and observations of kid behavior. Whether you call it children's music, family music, kindie or toddlerbilly it's sure to please listeners of all ages.
Music for kids can be entertaining and enjoyable for both children and their parents.
This is the mandate behind Matt Heaton's kid music, a style he calls "toddlerbilly." His songs are a mix of Rockabilly, Surf, American Roots, and Irish traditional music, delivered with a wry sense of humor and a serious sense of fun.
Matt performs solo and also with his band, The Outside Toys. Audiences of all ages respond to his musicianship and variety. And parents and caregivers love his Muppet-esque humor and observations of kid behavior.
Matt's musical portfolio includes 20+ years as a touring Irish guitarist (with Matt & Shannon Heaton Duo and other acclaimed Irish acts) and a Master's degree in classical guitar from Northwestern Universit. He has played with surf rock bands in Chicago and Boston, including the currently active Electric Heaters.
When his son was born, Matt began attending sing-alongs at local libraries. Inspired to give it a try himself, he soon discovered that he truly enjoyed connecting with kids musically.
"Growing up, the main children's music I listened to was 'Free to Be You & Me,' 'Sesame Street,' and of course, 'The Muppets,'" he says of his own childhood. "The amazing thing about all those projects is how listenable they are today. In particular, The Muppet albums are full of great songs and musicianship with jokes aimed at adults. I try to bring some of those elements into my own music."
Matt performs on a big orange hollowbody electric guitar, and occasional tenor banjo. A favorite on the Boston sing-along circuit, he appears with The Outside Toys for bigger shows and outdoor festivals. Adding bass, fiddle and drums rounds out the "Toddlerbilly" sound, with twangy guitar and fiddle over rock-solid bass lines and surf drum grooves.
Matt's beautifully produced CDs brim with fun and clever songs, expert playing and arranging, and just a touch of Retro rock attitude. Call it children's music, family music, Kindie, or toddlerbilly--Matt Heaton is sure to please listeners of all ages.
Kind words from presenters:
Nothing gets little toes tapping and little bodies wiggling like Matt Heaton. When he’s playing to a room full of happy toddlers you can feel the joy. .. Fun for all ages!
- JJ Gonson, ONCE Somerville
Fun songs that get the kids moving and dancing. Our kids really enjoy music from his albums as well as classic kid songs. Matt is flexible and reliable and timely. We know that our crowds will go wild when Matt is here!
- Maija Meadows Hasegawa, Boston Public Library
Foot-stomping, hand-clapping, sing-alonging, dance-athon-ing fun and pure joy! A huge Sippie Cup Salute to Matt (and his band) for his musical magic, enjoyed and loved by young and younger!
- Marie Cassidy, Medford Family Network
Their silly, smart music appeals as much to parents as to their kids. Working with Matt and the band is a seamless experience!
- Eva Rosenburg, Harvard Ed Portal