Feb 16, 2013
And when it came time to put together a group, Shriber didn’t need to look far. He already had all the talented musicianship he needed among his staff at the Wellesley music school he opened in 2010, Jammin’ with You.
At the 5,000-square-foot facility, Shriber and his colleagues teach lessons, mentor groups, and lead classes; but when they go on the road, the same adults who teach voice, keyboard, and guitar get to take center stage.
Their initial following was easy to come by. Not only did they have the kids who attend their music school, Shriber had been performing at temples and parties in the region for years. But it soon became clear that their popularity went far beyond those who already knew them. As an undeniable sign of the band’s success, Josh and the Jamtones opened last summer for an internationally popular children’s music ensemble, the Wiggles.
“Our music is a mix of rock, reggae, and Americana,” Shriber said. “We incorporate all the same elements you’d hear from current music playing on the radio. We have really high-quality drumming, amazing guitar playing, talented keyboardists.”
Shriber gives a lot of thought to making music for all ages and what that requires.
“Some of the best feedback we get is that we don’t dumb down our music. I’ve always known that singing about putting socks on with a spoon was never going to be fulfilling enough for me,” he said.
“We try to interject humor into our performances, but it’s not necessarily kiddie humor. Sometimes it’s a sarcastic or dry aside meant specifically for the adults in the audience, although of course we always stay clean and appropriate. ”
Josh and the Jamtones released its first CD, “Jump Up!,” last fall. Of the 12 tracks, 10 are original and two are the band’s interpretation of old standards.
In concerts, Shriber isn’t afraid to throw in a few familiar folk songs. “There are songs like ‘Old MacDonald’ and ‘You Are My Sunshine’ that may be a little babyish, but everyone knows them and sings along,” he said.
“So sometimes what we try to do is just inject some new life and funky music into the old classics, to give everyone a chance to sing along and be part of a positive experience.”
And while Shriber loves to see lots of small children singing and dancing along, he still finds compliments from adults to be most gratifying.
Not long ago, a mother told him that her kids asked to listen to the Jamtones CD on the way to school. It was only after dropping them off, doing three more errands and driving home that the woman realized she was still playing it. Never mind opening for the Wiggles — that, to Shriber, is musical success.
Josh and the Jamtones perform at the Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Tickets are $10 adults, $8 seniors and children. For tickets or more information, call 781-646-4849 or go to www.regenttheatre.com.