For Your Consideration: Best Children's Album
"Robots Don't Tell Jokes"
Take a little bit pop, a little bit country, a little bit opera, and a dash of Irish punk. Add in some zydeco, a soupçon of animal ciphering, a stinky shoe, and a nursery rhyme in Japanese, and you have what fans have come to expect from Kelli Welli: originality, personality, and a healthy dose of absurdity. This album is smart, fun, and made, as always...
for kids and the people who love them.
“Each song is presented in an entirely original way, making this album a must-have.” - School Library Journal
“The diversity in the album’s musical and lyrical themes… keep audiences engaged and entertained from beginning to end. Topics from the silly to the serious and items somewhere in-between along the way… they make Robots Don’t Tell Jokes anything but a joke.”
- Phil's Picks
Take a little bit pop, a little bit country, a little bit opera, and a dash of Irish punk. Add in some zydeco, a stinky shoe, a nursery rhyme in Japanese, and you have what fans have come to expect from Kelli Welli: originality, personality, and a healthy dose of absurdity. Made for kids and the people who love them.
"A kiddie record with true Rocky & Bullwinkle for adults sensibilities, you really have to have a necrotic heart not to get a kick out of this no matter who you are. Totally cool.”
- Midwest Record
“There must be something in the water in the Pacific Northwest. Kelli Welli joins the host of notable talents from the region, such as Red Yarn, Johnny Bregar, and Recess Monkey.”
making this album
Thank you to all the amazing kids and friends who helped me make this album!
= First time in a recording studio!
Songwriting: Kelli Caldwell, except "Dognado," co-written by Kelli Caldwell, Bryan Daste, and Devon Newman; and "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" written by Jane Taylor
Vocals: Kelli Caldwell, featuring Joanie Leeds on "I Will Miss You", Kira Segelken on "I'm a Mama Monkey" and "I Love You Echo Song;" and Ryan Segelken on "I Love You Echo Song"
Backing vocals: Bryan Daste, Timothy James Uecker, Kira Segelken, Ryan Segelken, Joanie Leeds, Flor Bromley, James Dallas, Elianna DeHaan, Tamaya DeHaan, Claudia Robin Gunn, Madeline Moum, Blaine Heinonen, Devon Newman, Mark Newman, Elena Moon Park, Miles Raf, Jennifer Smieja, Kymberly Stewart, Twinkle Time, Red Yarn
Instruments: Bryan Daste on acoustic guitar, electric guitar, pedal steel, banjo, ukulele, bass, upright bass, violin bass, keyboard, organ; Timothy James Uecker on acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, mandolin, trumpet; Blaine Heinonen on drums, hand drums, tambourine, kazoo, spoons, kick drum, duck-billed tabourine, shaker, coffee beans in jars, claves; Mike Danner on accordian, Jennifer Smieja on frottor for "Ezra's Frickle Song;" Gabe Johnston on timbale and electronic percussion on "Robots Don't Tell Jokes" and "Five Little Ducks;" Amy Risinger on flute, Aidric Newman on cello, Jack Newman on violin for "Robots Don't Tell Jokes;" Jessie Dettwiler on cello for "Tree Song" and "I Will Miss You;" Mike Danner on accordian, Sarah Wolff on flute for "All Ways Together Always;" James Coffey on electric guitar, electric piano, organ, virtual drums, virtual strings, virtual flute and percussion for "The Multiplication Song." Claps, snaps, stomps: Bryan Daste, Blaine Heinonen, Kelli Caldwell, Timothy James Uecker
Voiceover: Bryan Daste, Jessie Dettwiler, Blaine Heinonen, Devon Newman, Mark Newman, Kira Segelken, Ryan Segelken, Ariya Marshall-Thanasophon, Ava Marshall-Thanasophon, Carl Marshall, June Thanasophon, Elianna DeHaan, Tamaya DeHaan, Miles Raf. Barks by Piper Peach Segelken and Loki Newman (dogs).
Producers: Bryan Daste, Timothy James Uecker, Kelli Caldwell; and James Coffey for "The Multiplication Song"
Engineers: Bryan Daste; Gabe Johnston for "Robots Don't Tell Jokes" and "Five Little Ducks;" James Coffey for "The Multiplication Song;" Additional engineering help by Tom Walker; Intern Lucas Valdovinos. Recorded at Dream Tree Studio NW and Falcon Recording Studios; and Blue Vision Music for "The Multiplication Song."
Mastering: Dana White, Specialized Mastering
Artwork: Kelli Caldwell, design and photography; Scraplets UK, robot creation; Vintage Moon Felts, SooSun, and Katy Bjork, needle-felting; Kira Segelken, crafting.
Released by 8 Pound Gorilla Records.
PR by Waldmania PR
Kelli headshot photography: Alia Rose
Copyright © 2021 Kelli Caldwell, BMI
THiS iS ME
Photo and header photo by: Alia Rose
Kelli Welli - Writing songs and stories for kids and the people who love them. Drawing on her unique upbringing and often inspired by the kids and animals in her life, Kelli Welli’s wide-ranging and award-winning songwriting is smart, fun, often hilarious, sometimes reflective and deeply sweet. Always genuine. Her original songs and lullabies weave wonderful tales, celebrate love, nature, different languages, and honor all the details that come with raising these amazing little people in our lives. Kelli’s newest album is available now with 8 Pound Gorilla Records.
Kelli’s been called, “hysterically and superbly talented” by fellow artists and parents often say, “This is music I can actually listen to over and over… and over… and still enjoy!” Alongside her wonderful friends and masterful musicians, the Portland, OR based artist shares tidbits from her life as a new mom, with songs she and her twins actually use to learn and encourage, or just to have fun and laugh along with, as well as songs she has written to honor all the little people she loves.
Kelli has a Master of Publishing degree and a B.A. in Speech Communication with minors in Japanese and German. She's been a prolific writer and songwriter for over 20 years, a board member of the Portland Songwriters Association for 8 years, currently a member of the Recording Academy, Nashville Songwriters Association (NSAI), West Coast Songwriters, Children's Music Network, and Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI)
“Kelli Welli is a Portland kindie treasure!”
- Red Yarn
"Hilarious and superbly talented. Incredible albums!"
- Jessa Campbell & The Saplings
"Fun and hilarious."
- PDX Parent Magazine
"One of our favorite children's songwriters, singers, and performers in Portland. Kelli's tunes are silly, fun and absolutely so creative your kiddo will be dancing and laughing to the beat!"
- Theressa's Reading Rainbow
• 2021 Grand Prize Winner - The John Lennon Songwriting Contest in Children's
• 2022 The John Lennon Songwriting Contest - Top 4 Finalist in Children's
• 2022 National Parenting Products Award
• 2021 Finalist - International Songwriting Competition
• 2021 National Parenting Products Award
• 2021 Winner - West Coast Songwriters Intl Song Contest – Children’s
• 2021 Finalist - Great American Song Contest - Special Music
• 2021 Semi-finalist - UK Songwriting Contest - Children's & Christmas
• 2021 Semi-finalist - Dallas Songwriters Association Song Contest - Novelty/Children's
• 2020 Finalist - International Songwriting Competition - Children's
• 2020 National Parenting Products Award
• 2020 Winner - West Coast Songwriters Intl Song Contest – Best Children’s Song
• 2020 - Top 5 PDX Parent Picks, PDX Parent Magazine
• 2020 Finalist - Great American Song Contest - Lyrics
• 2019 Finalist - International Songwriting Competition - Children's
• 2019 Winner - West Coast Songwriters Intl Song Contest – Best Children’s Song
• 2018 Finalist - Local Roots Annual Song Contest – Americana
The daughter of two fine artists, her father also a conga drummer, Kelli did a stint as a French clown; started kindergarten from a tent; lived in an octagon-shaped house on stilts; had a best friend named Summer Wind O'Redwoods; performed in children's musical theater; and had 50 hamsters at one point. She’s lived solo in a few parts of the world as a young adult; inline skated most of Manhattan; camped overnight at a job in NYC when her lease was up; raised angel fish from eggs and kittens with a bottle; played ice and roller hockey; and cultivated a fairly green thumb.
Photo by Chuck Masi