Album Reviews for "Backyards & Home Fronts"
From the 2017 NAPPA Awards - Their product testers had this to say about "Backyards & Home Fronts":
"Grammy-Award-winner musician Steve Pullara has been involved in issue-based projects that tackle themes about following your dreams, dealing with bullies, and having friends. His latest album also deals with an important subject, although one with a more specific audience – kids whose parents are serving America overseas. Pullara deserves major praise for making this type of concept album, and executing it so well. Highlights include tunes like “Drawing On The Window Of My Car” and “Refrigerator Box” that evoke childhood playfulness as well as the emotionally powerful closing number, “Guess Who’s Coming Home.” While the songs are geared for families who have members abroad, the CD’s sweet music will appeal to all." - Michael Berick, NAPPA Awards
"Dedicated "to those who wait and those who serve," this thoughtful CD from Steve Pullara and his Cool Beans Band tunefully acknowledges the anxieties of children whose parents are serving in far away places, offering the comfort of play and imagination on the "homefront." A little girl says goodbye to her parents at the airport and wants to be a butterfly that can "ask an airplane to turn around"; the catchy "Nothin' in the Bucket" defines a fishing trip with Grandpa; "Mr. Mailman" is a touching work of instrumental and vocal suspense. The album's last track ("Guess Who's Coming Home") is imbued with the anticipation and gladness of a long-awaited reunion."
- Lynne Heffley ©2018 Parents' Choice
"Starred Review" by "School Library Journal":
"Backyards & Home Fronts. Performed by Steve Pullara and His Cool Beans Band. CD. 32 min. Cool Beans Music. 2017. $10. Gr 2-5–Grammy winner Steve Pullara has done something unique with his newest album: honored those families where the moms and dads are deployed far from their children. The effects of “Parental Deployment” on the home front are addressed in each of the 11 original songs written and performed by Pullara. Topics such as missed birthdays and special events, letter writing and sending special treats, wishes to share dreams and fun times had with grandma and grandma are all covered with a gentleness that shows the fun of daily life but also captures the feelings of sadness when a child’s parents can’t be there to share in it. This country music album concludes with the hope-filled “Guess Who’s Coming Home.” While the target audience of this album is military families, there is much to be enjoyed by families of all circumstances. VERDICT A must-have for all collections that serve military families." -Veronica De Fazio, Plainfield Public Library District, IL, School Library Journal
"What makes it Hot Diggity great: Pullara's Backyards & Home Fronts provides a much needed bright spot for the children of service men and women. The album celebrates our military heroes while reassuring their children that they are loved and also brave ... just like their parents."
- Review for "Hot Diggity Awards Winner"
"The first time I listen to a new album (I generally listen to each album at least 3 times), I like to go in “blind.” I don’t read the liner notes or any of the accompanying PR. I just listen. This was true of the first time that I listened to Backyards & Home Fronts. With barely a glance at the packaging, I popped the CD in, pressed play and bopped along while I sorted the mail and straightened the kitchen. At the end, I thought, that was nice. Kids will like the song about using your imagination while drawing on the car window with your finger. They’ll be able to relate to the song about playing with a refrigerator box. Many of them will understand the song about the child who is growing older along with a pet.
Then, I read the liner notes and visited Steve Pullara’s website and realized I had it all wrong. So, I listened to the album again. And again. And again. While it is true that the album has universal themes that children can relate to, at the heart of this album lies a beautiful tribute to the children whose moms and dads are in the military and are away from home on deployment. This is an album filled with songs about missed birthdays, wishes and dreams, letters and care packages, and grandmas and grandpas who step in to help fill the void. While the subject matter may pull at the heart strings, the songs are all upbeat and joyous, employing a little bit of country and a little bit of old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll to convey its message.
Many of the songs on this album could be used in lessons or programs about different types of families. This is a welcome addition to all music collections, but is a must have for those libraries and classrooms that serve families in the military. Check out the video (on YouTube.com) for the joyful final track of the album, “Guess Who’s Coming Home.” PS: Make sure to have a tissue handy!
- Kids Rhythm And Rock
"All that I can say about this release is AWESOME!, well done, excellent production, and a great story line from the first song to the last. Steve manages to deliver a serious message of children growing up, going through life, facing all the fun times, and maybe not so fun times, BUT, he approaches those not so fun times while still maintaining a meticulous fine line between the two that keeps it all on a positive note. All in all, this is a brilliant album that will be enjoyed by children and will touch the hearts and minds of ALL adults...who still treasure those child like memories that we as adults still hold dear to us.
From the very first song to the last song, Steve takes us on a journey with a Happy Ending. I for one needed that happy ending, it was the icing on the cake for me. I loved this release!
They were all excellent selections, my three favorites were:
(Cut # 1) She Wants To Be A Butterfly. Right off, the production is excellent, then take into consideration the fusion of a bluegrass feel and sound blended in with an excellent story line. This is just an excellent start to a great listening and LEARNING experience.
(Cut #3) Drawing On The Window Of My Car. Steven takes a whole different direction with a Latin feel that has a smooth non offending delivery giving the message an important acceptable platform for the message to be consumed by both adults and children alike.
(Cut #11) Guess Who's Coming Home. A perfect ending to a perfect story. Steve Pullara painted a beautiful picture with this release." Reviewed by Doc Holiday, Nashville, TN: Former Member of the Board Of Governors for The Recording Academy Grammy Awards, Published Author Of The Best Selling Novel "NIGHTMARES OF THE DREAM" 2016, Voting Member Of The Grammy Awards since 2004, Winner Of 17 "Telly Awards" for Music Videos, Winner of Two 2011 EMPixx Awards for Music Videos, Winner of FIVE Global Music Awards 2016 and 2017, Winner 2016 Whiskey and Cigarettes Radio Award Lifetime Achievement,Winner of Producer Of The Year (Nashville Universe Awards 2014, 2015 and 2016 Three years In A Row),Winner of "The Golden Music Award for Producer Of The Year", Member/Judge Of The Silver Council for the "TELLY" Awards, Mega International Records, The Power Plant Recording Studios, Thunder Across America Concerts
Singer/songwriter and GRAMMY winning producer
Steve Pullara and his Cool Beans Band have crafted a 5-star musical salute to military families in his latest eleven track album release, “Backyards & Home Fronts.” Masterfully performed, sweet and melodic Country harmonies are soundly laced with reflective yet upbeat lyrics. Each song celebrates small moments in the lives of those waiting for loved ones to return from deployment. Varied selections about birthdays, heart-drawn pictures and poems, cookies and mail, and even a secret backyard clubhouse are the milestones so often missed by those when duty calls. “Backyards & Home Fronts” is a true tribute to those who serve and their families! Reviewed by: Paula Slade, VP Artistic Media Associates, Inc., Boston, MA
Steve Pullara has the ability to write and perform songs that are so joyful and upbeat, you can’t help but be uplifted when listening. From the opening track, you’ll be swept away with his happy stories sung from the child’s point of view about their parent's military deployment. Meaningful themes of hope, love, and anticipation flow throughout this charming CD for kids and adults alike. My personal faves: Nothin’ in the Bucket, Guess Who’s Coming Home and She Wants To Be A Butterfly.
Reviewed by: Cyndy Drue, Radio Personality, DJ, WMGK, FM Philadelphia, PA
Steve Pullara’s newest children’s album "Backyards & Home Fronts" bridges the miles between deployed military and their family with the most upbeat and positive messages of love. Through each of the eleven tracks listeners will find songs of celebrations for life’s little moments that are priceless, Steve’s lyrics and melodies create a path of sharing whether the distance is across a room or across an ocean. Consistently Steve and His Cool Beans Band bring whimsical and meaningful lyrics of love and hope to families around the world. I’ve written before saying Steve’s albums should be part of every home every local library and school, now I include every military base housing should make this album available to the families stationed away from one another and often far from home. When you’re looking for a gift to give to the children in your life I highly recommend Backyard & Home Fronts. Perhaps gift a copy to your local library too.
Review by Toni Taylor-Helser- Barefoot Music Group, DJ Mixstream Radio, Oregon
This is a fantastic album and the songs had my foot tapping for sure! The lyrics are encouraging and you know that the kids are in good hands with grandma and grandpa. The children always had mom and dad in their minds and hearts as are evidenced in this album's songs. They've included them in their drawings on the car window, writing love letters, sharing photos that they were growing up as well as their puppy, and by sharing the fun they had playing in a refrigerator box. They definitely kept their mom and dad up to date waiting so patiently for them to come home. Even though there was a huge distance between them, the family kept their bond alive with love, encouragement, and true hope in being united again which came to fruition with a very happy ending. The family is the key to a healthy society and the families that are deployed most certainly make this world a better place to live in and I am most thankful for their service which this album reminds us of for sure. Review by Jeanine Winslow, Administrator, Warrington Twp.,Veteran Affairs Committee
More reviews are coming...
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The Grammy-Award winning Steve Pullara demonstrates his awesome talent for creating toe-tapping and accessible music kids love in his new album, Backyards & Home Fronts. My grandchildren loved it. I think your children and grandchildren will as well! -- Grover Silcox, Producer, PBS TV 39, EMMY Award Winning Producer
With his outstanding new album “Backyards and Homefronts,” Steve Pullara has climbed a playground ladder to the highest rung of excellence. Musically and lyrically (and production wise) this is one of the finest albums of its kind I’ve ever heard. But equally important is this accomplished and beloved entertainer’s ability to get inside the mind (and heart) of a child. Do you remember drawing on the window of your car? How about the fact that the refrigerator box you inherited was the best plaything you’ve ever owned? Waiting excitedly for the mailman? Steve remembers it all, and wraps these memories in the most infectious music a kid- and their parents- are ever going to hear. The closing track “Guess Who’s Coming Home” about waiting for parents deployed by the military to return, transcends any genre, and brings peace, light, love and encouragement to anyone who hears it. This album is the top rung, all the way up the ladder of success. Review by Chip Mergott’s “Mergott Music Minute” is heard daily on WDVR FM (Trenton, NJ); and appears weekly in The Bucks County Herald
Still Life Photo 2017 Mimi Gloria Domina