Jesse Wagner – Happy Wags

June 23, 2014

Jesse Wagner - Happy WagsFans of the Aggrolites over the years have come to adore the band and their live performances, mixing their unique Dirty Reggae sound with versions of timeless Jamaican classics.

But one song always stood out at live shows, the E.K. Bunch sing- along “Banana”. With the real meaning of the song Banana still drawing a few chuckles years later, it still remains a wildly popular song to sing to live. Adapted for the bands 2007 appearance on the hit television show ‘Yo Gabba Gabba!’the classic- turned kids song, has no doubt help parents years later in teaching their children the importance and fun in eating healthy fruits.

Taking it one step beyond,talented front man Jesse Wagner has brought his guitar with him and written “Happy Wags”a whimsical journey through key childhood life lessons. As some parents, new and old, have come to find out, the library for children’ s music is painfully mundane,and all too annoying. And heavens help you if your child finds him or herself among The Wiggles faithful. Enter Happy Wags,a wonderfully crafted 9-track album that destroys all previous notions of what children’s album should or could be.

Harnessing his own roots and influences, Happy Wags touches on several different musical styles from your Ska/ Reggae infused tracks like ‘Use Your Words’and ‘Pee- Pee In The Potty’to 80’s R&B and country folk style songs. Parents and children will no doubt enjoy Jesse Wagner and his powerfully soothing vocal style, as he stresses the importance of the little things children must learn and some adults have seem to have forgotten over the years, like Pee-Peeing in the Potty (instead of around it) as made painfully clear by venuebathrooms across the U.S.

‘Happy Wags’ offers a wide array to the developing child mind,from a innocent yet catchy animal sound sing-a-long in “The Lion The Snake & the Monkey”leaving Old McDonald and his wimpy barn, showing kids the fun and wonder of the jungle as they hiss and roar to the Harry Belafonte style tune.Even incorporating a Ramones style punk tune kids will jump and spin to as they learn to play with one another, even provoking the punker turned parents out there to throw on some old leathers and join them.With old friend and fellow Aggrolite, Jeff Rofredo, jumping in on the fun, there is even a bass happy rock-a-Billy style song about chewing, and taking your baths.

Aside from the valuable learning lessons for children that Happy Wags offers, the clear upside to this album is the replay value for the parents! Its precisely crafted and engineered to satiate the parents musical palate as well, your little bundle of energy may not yet be familiar with Traditional Ska, Reggae, Rock-A-Billy or Soul but you are,and that goes along way as you will find yourself singing along with your pride and joy, and only further deepening the pivotal parent child bond.

Jesse Wagner knocks it out of the park with this album and may prove a key-learning tool in your child’s progression and devolvement.And most likely will end up in your music library as well. The album is slated for release on June 10t h through Asian Man and Fun Fun Records. Do yourself and your kids a favor and be sure to snag a copy.


-Gio Van Dam-
Big Wheel Contributor


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