We’ve all blasted sugary kiddie-pop songs in the car in hopes of calming down the cranky little one in the backseat. It’s enough to make you pine for the days of concerts at 9:30 Club. Bethesda musician Jeff Bradford has been there. He played in rock bands and toured internationally for decades. Then he had his first child and created Jammy Jams. The CD series is full of hip, modern twists on lullabies that the whole family can enjoy. If you have a restless napper on your hands, any of the albums is a must-download.

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Bradford first digitally tweaked hip-hop group OutKast’s “Hey Ya” into a lullaby as an inside joke for friends and family, using a mix of percussion, piano and synthesizer. He got a great reception after posting it on YouTube for fun. But more importantly, his baby boy chilled out. Ten albums later, Jammy Jams has remixed more than 90 songs, including “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio, “Here I Go Again” by Whitesnake and “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga. The lyrics have been stripped out and the percussions softened to lull babes to sleep.
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The albums are a refreshing break from the norm. Most kid-friendly music is known for its overly pop-y sensibility or weird nature sounds — good for little one at nap time (maybe), but you have to listen to it, too. A fan favorite remains Jammy Jam’s first album, “Once Upon A Rhyme.” There are no vocals, so you can actually play a version of “Big Pimpin” in your car … loudly. Talk about sharing your musical interests with Junior!
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Want to find out more? Check out Jammy Jams in person at A Baby Affair (Sept. 15).
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What is your favorite song to lull your little one to sleep? Let us know in the Comments section below.
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—Sonya Gavankar

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Photos courtesy of Jeff Bradford