This is a first for me; I’ve recently completed a sleeve and a label design for a vinyl record. Vinyl! For a child of the sixties and seventies that’s quite a big deal.
The O’Keefe Music Foundation is a non-profit organization in the USA that gives children the opportunity to record their musical performances for free with professional equipment and engineers.
The sleeve is for covers of Richard Thompson’s ‘1952 Vincent Black Lightning’ and ‘The Worst’ by The Rolling Stones. It’s a very grown-up children’s venture and, as the vocalists are female, the lyrics have been given a feminist slant. In the wrong hands, though, these recordings and the accompanying videos could be a disaster; there are so many possible pitfalls – think ‘The X Factor meets Playschool’ perhaps. But Aaron O’Keefe, who runs the organization, must be a brilliant teacher and enabler because these kids are seriously good. There’s no fuss; it’s for and about the music and I think the foundation gets help from a music industry that recognizes this.
Not surprisingly, the O’Keefe Music Foundation recordings are getting a lot of attention on YouTube: Check out the Vincent Black Lightning video here: Vincent Black Lightning and lots of other videos here: O'Keefe Music Foundation