Who we are
Milkshake is a band on a mission: to create great rock music for kids. Led by singer Lisa Mathews and guitarist Mikel Gehl, whose songs for grown-ups have been featured in movies and prime-time television, and whose indie rock group Love Riot garnered critical praise during its 10-year run, Milkshake has won over preschoolers without compromising songcraft, stagecraft or their authentic rock & roll spirit.
From the release of their first CD Happy Songs (inspired by the birth of Lisa’s daughter and Mikel’s son), it was clear that Milkshake was an exciting departure from traditional kids’ music. The band’s songs were added to radio playlists across the country; a second CD, Bottle of Sunshine, earned raves from kids, parents and critics; the NOGGIN Channel enlisted Lisa and Mikel to film two videos for the premiere season of Jack’s Big Music Show, and Milkshake was asked to bring its high-energy stage act to the opening leg of the Jamarama Live! tour.
2006 got off to a busy start with the creation of three original songs and videos for PBS KIDS’ “Share the Earth Day” programming, songs and videos for Discovery Kids’ preschool hit ToddWorld, the west coast leg of Jamarama Live! and a 10-song-and-video project for the PBS KIDS morning preschool destination. Closing out the year on a high note, the Milkshake Band hit the road for selected dates on the Jamarama Live! fall tour.
In 2007 the band released PLAY!, Milkshake’s long-awaited third CD, a celebration of every kid’s desire to just have fun. Hook- and harmony-filled, PLAY! covered all the bases, with songs about baseball (featuring a cameo from hometown hero Cal Ripken, Jr.), bowling, pretending, playing music, parades, planting a garden and just plain going wild. As a bonus, the disc included the three new songs Milkshake created for ToddWorld.
2009 brought Great Day, which received a Grammy nomination for “Best Musical Recording for Children”. 2013’s Got a Minute CD was made up of 34 short songs, including the 13 mini-gems the band wrote for PBS KIDS. With tuneful, memorable songs that evoke influences from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Lennon-McCartney to The White Stripes, Milkshake continues to create music that appeals to both kids and their parents (yes, even after listening to the same CD five times in a row). Their live appearances inspire joy, even as the kids learn through music and rhyme. Every day, in every way, Milkshake is out to prove that if you’re old enough to walk, you’re old enough to rock.
Meet the band
In the studio recording another voiceover, singing another jingle or a song for her band, or – her favorite use – chatting with her 19-year-old about the day or the latest in world news, Lisa is always using that voice. After doing a show with Milkshake at WTMD radio, she became creator and host of Young At Heart, the station's first and only kid- and family-friendly Saturday morning show. She also works as a teaching artist in MD/DC/VA schools.
Mikel spent his youth honing his craft as a guitarist in garages throughout east Baltimore. He has played with some of the area's top original alt-rock bands, including Love Riot, before starting Milkshake with Lisa in 2000. Soon after, he and his wife had their son, and songs about all things kids made perfect sense. Like Jimi Hendrix, Mikel is happiest with a guitar in hand, (and a cup of sweet coffee close by).
From the elementary school band to the musical theater orchestra pit to the loud and clangy bar bands of Baltimore to... kids' rock? This is the long and winding path that brings Tom Moon to Milkshake. A true renaissance man, Tom's other interests include napping, rolling over, savoring a fine granola bar, toothpastes of the world and the smell of helicopters. Tom also joins Lisa on her radio show Young At Heart for the Talking Tunes segments.
MICHAEL 'SHEPPY' SHEPPARD
Michael “Sheppy” Sheppard started singing and playing guitar for his 3rd grade teachers, his way to get out of homework! As a military brat, his family moved a lot and thanks to the guitar, singing, and acting, Sheppy had help making friends all over the country; some he still has today! When not jumping around with Milkshake, some of Sheppy’s favorite things to do include bowling, watching bowling on TV, going boating, eating all the green M&M’s, bowling, and eating popcorn while watching reruns of the Muppet Show.
A composer, arranger and bandleader, Brian fronts Baltimore's Junkyard Saints, He has performed with such varied acts as Disappear Fear, DC Cajun favorites Squeeze Bayou, the national tour of Nunsense!, Indigo Girls, Lisa Cerbone, Kelly Bell and Rachel Cross. His accordion, keyboard and vocals can be heard on many commercials and radio spots up and down the East Coast. Brian also joins Lisa on her radio show Young At Heart for the Talking Tunes segments.