Friday, December 26, 2014

Davis-based band makes children’s music a real hoot

July 23, 2011 |

hoots artW

These guys are a hoot!

Harv the Hippo, The King of Ketchup and Bumble aren’t band members’ names, they’re characters from Hoots songs. The Hoots is a Davis-based band featuring Joel Daniel, Charles Caskey and Nina Doherty — all members of another local band, Shayna and the Bulldog.

Catch Shayna and the Bulldog and The Hoots from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Davis Farmers Market in Central Park, Fourth and C streets.

These three have been performing together for five years but just recently started playing children’s music.

“Four years ago, my friend Grant had twin girls,” Daniel said. “Grant and his wife wanted me to writes songs for them. The only thing I knew about children’s music was Barney. They said it doesn’t have to be like that.”

So, Joel wrote some songs, then some more and soon realized he enjoyed them.

“I wanted it to be like the music we listen to,” Daniel said. “So our peers would like the music and, theme-wise, their kids would be into it.”

He showed the songs to Caskey, who also liked them.

“There a certain playful silliness to it,” Caskey said. “We both wanted to create something that wouldn’t drive parents crazy.”

They succeeded; I listen to The Hoots and I don’t have kids. Some Hoots songs, like “Come Along With Me” and “The Cowboy Song,” began as Shayna and the Bulldog songs.

Daniel has the perfect voice for children’s music.

“It’s not a great voice,” he humbly declared, “but if there’s a genre it fits in, this is it.”

Daniel not only sings but does animal noises, like a bumblebee’s buzz.

“Joel could do cartoon voices,” Caskey said.

I concur.

“We’ve been in Shayna for a long time and we’ve gotten descent press,” Daniel said, “but playing kids’ shows, there’s no pretension. People leave happy and smiling. I like that.”

Before the album was completed, The Hoots were lucky enough to have the input of a focus group.

“A friend running a summer school program gave our songs to the kids from grades K to 3. They listened and gave us feedback,“ Daniel said.

“One girl said she doesn’t like the ‘Cowboy’ song because she doesn’t like boys,” Caskey said, laughing. “Another boy liked ‘Monsters’ because he like monsters.”

“I thought it would be cool if songs had morals,” Daniel said. “The sunscreen moral with Harv, don’t be mean to the bumblebee or you’ll get stung. The ‘Cowboy’ song is about following you dreams.

“A lot of songs are whimsical, so it’s nice to have something to bring back to real life. The adult songs that stick with me are ones that connect emotionally, usually about love or loss.”

The album took two years to complete. The band was lucky to have David Houston produce the record.

“A lot of people in Sacramento call him the dark lord because of his really dark hair and black nails,” Daniel said. “But he’s the sweetest guy. He’s worked with a lot of big names, like Tony! Toni! Tone!”

Caskey added, “He helped with the whole vibe. He was super-cool.”

Daniel wants to take The Hoots on the road, like they’ve done with Shayna and the Bulldog.

“I want to reach as many people as I can,” he said. “ Hopefully, people in Davis will hear it and tell other people about it.”

“There’s a certain purity, or natural appreciation of fun with this music,” Caskey said. “We’re having fun.”

And so should you. Get in touch with your inner child and come see The Hoots.

Listen to tracks and buy the album at, or visit The Hoots Facebook page,

— Reach Landon Christensen at



Landon Christensen

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .


    Transit survey: 47 percent ride bikes to UCD campus

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Exchange students bring the world to Davis

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Pastor has many plans for CA House

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Playing Santa

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Goats help recycle Christmas trees

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Special holiday gifts

    By Sue Cockrell | From Page: A3

    Woodland-Davis commute bus service expands

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Learn fruit tree tips at free class

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Davis Bike Club hears about British cycling tour

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Pick up a Davis map at Chamber office

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sierra Club calendars on sale Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Explorit: Get a rise out of science

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4

    NAMI meeting offers family support

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Yoga, chanting intro offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8



    Blamed for her sister’s rage

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    How much for the calling birds?

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    Steve Sack cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    Many ensured a successful parade

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Thanks for putting food on the table

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10



    Two more for the road for 9-1 Aggie men

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Patterson is college football’s top coach

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Clippers get a win over Golden State

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    NBA roundup: Heat beat Cavs in LeBron’s return to Miami

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery





    ‘Unbroken': A bit underwhelming

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    Folk musicians will jam on Jan. 2

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11



    Passat: Roomy, affordable sedan with German engineering

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3 | Gallery



    James J. Dunning Jr.

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Floyd W. Fenocchio

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4



    Comics: Friday, December 26, 2014 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7

    Comics: Thursday, December 26, 2014 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: A9