The Dilly Dallies
When you watch little kids walking down the street it takes them a long time and they don’t get very far – they are curious and stop to check out everything they see. Basically, they dilly dally everywhere they go. What better name for the children’s music duo that goes everywhere kids like to go: The Dilly Dallies.
The Dilly Dallies in real life are Steve Slater and Jenn Ekman. Together they have produced two children’s music CDs, The Dilly Dallies and Walking Around with Giants; nine videos featured on YouTube; and created The Dilly Dallies Radio Show.
Given his flexible musician schedule, Steve found himself a stay at home dad. As his son grew he started writing songs about their experiences together. The logical next step was to perform the songs, which was realized when a mutual friend introduced him to Jenn. Her vocal skills have been polished by years of singing in musical theatre, she could write her own harmony parts and just happened to be a stay at home mom with two great kids.
“We understand that experiences that both the parent and the child share make great song subjects,” says Steve. “We wanted to reflect that so the songs would be enjoyed equally by kids and their parents.” And that's how The Dilly Dallies came to be.
The Dilly Dallies sound is whimsical, fun, catchy and relatable, with great child-appeal – and won't annoy parents. Delightfully genuine and sprinkled throughout with twinkle-in-the-eye fun, their songs feature a wide variety of instruments including baritone ukulele, ukulele bass, glockenspiel, vibraphone, marimba, vibraslap, shakers, triangle, finger cymbals, mini gong, cowbell, piano, wood block and kazoo.
A hallmark of their sound is their vocal harmonies. “Since I was a little girl, I’ve always listened to music on the radio and added my own harmonies to make songs sound and feel more full,” says Jenn. “It’s fun to create simple, yet beautiful harmonies that kids can sing along with and enjoy. In The Dilly Dallies world it’s almost like a second melody, because I try to make the harmonies as catchy as the real melody!”
The Dilly Dallies is just the latest chapter in two rich and varied careers:
Steve is a professional drummer who performs with four San Francisco Bay Area bands: jazz ensemble Park St. Trio (who have produced 2 CDs), instrumental surf/punk rock band Aloha Screwdriver (2 CDs, 2 vinyl albums and 2 7” vinyl releases), indie rock band Farewell Typewriter and hard rock band Trip Device. He is also a music instructor, teaching private drum lessons, a high school marching drum line and music at a Montessori school.
Jenn is a singer and stage actor. She has performed in over 25 musicals in the Bay Area, including community and regional theatre. Originating roles for two regional shows, Party of Two: The Mating Musical and Shopping! The Musical, Jenn appeared on the original cast recording for both. She also received a Shellie award for Best Supporting Actress for Ellen in Miss Saigon at the Diablo Light Opera Company. Jenn performs with the women’s jazz a capella group The High Seas at the world-renowned St. Francis Yacht Club and produces solo cabaret shows, each with a different theme, which she performs at Society Cabaret. Jenn was featured in one of the Swap My Ride series of national Ford commercials featuring Mike Rowe.
Now The Dilly Dallies can be enjoyed on the radio. The Dilly Dallies Radio Show, for parents and kids, is broadcast on KACR 96.1 FM Alameda Community Radio. Jenn and Steve bring information on everything family to the community that helped build them – what’s happening around town, stories, topics submitted by little listeners and music from favorite children's musicians.
The Dilly Dallies are a band – a band for families. They rehearse while their children run around and play. They have experienced all the good and bad parts of having children and love to sing about it. Enjoy the music, enjoy the children and enjoy being a parent. Time flies as they grow, so let's sing about it!