Their name references one of the many ludicrous parts of childhood—roughhousing— which plays an inevitable and concerning role. One remedy that prevents the wild activities of childhood is music. Prolific singer and voice actress Grey DeLisle of The Roughhousers understands this fact and began creating silly songs to sing to her children to keep them entertained and engaged with music. A task that many parents struggle with, but no fear, The Roughhousers are here! DeLisle partnered with Eddie Clendening to bring families a collection of jovial songs jam-packed with playfulness, eccentricity, and relatability. Deke Dickerson, pianist Carl Sonny Leland, bassist Murry Hammond of The Old 97s, and X’s drummer DJ Bonebrake joined the duo on their mission to create unique tunes. From “Princess Mike” and “Toenail Soup” to the new single “Baby Brother,” a cover of Bill Carter’s rockabilly classic, their music comes with animated visuals that bring the songs to life for kids to enjoy!
The Roughhousers encapsulate the boisterous nature of a baby brother in this new record. Their take on “Baby Brother”, which derives from the amalgamation of spirited rockabilly, smooth blues, and bubbly surf music, is enough to get you up and dancing in no time. Clendening’s history with rock and roll truly shines: after he and DeLisle wrote and recorded their song “Big Sister”, this musicologist suggested the “Baby Brother” cover as a companion. It provides a sophisticated ingredient that will touch the hearts of those who listened to the genre when it originated. The untamed essence of this honky tonk track is a surreal take on the ordinary mischief that little brothers get up to. With lyrics from “Learned to crawl on the kitchen wall” to “found him swimming around in the goldfish bowl,” many with younger brothers could probably recall similar incidents in their own lives. All in all, The Roughhousers never fail to include humorous moments that will make families giggle.
Grey DeLisle marching along the moon as it floats in outer space is enough to capture the children’s and their parents’ attention. The animated background visuals covered in stars and bright colors match the upbeat quality of this song. The ’50s-inspired kitchen featured in the “Toenail Soup” video appears once again as a nod to the retro mix of blues and rockabilly sound that dominated the era. The lyric “I bought my baby brother a toy balloon, he let it get away, and it floated toward the moon” subtly ties to the fascination with space during the mid-1950s to the 60s. The Roughhouser’s ability to incorporate sounds and elements of that era into modern-day children’s music sets them apart and makes them incredibly unique!