Northup (L), Ballew (center), and Hippe (R) performing in Medina, Washington in 2011.
|Origin||Seattle, Washington, USA|
|Labels||independent record label|
Fred Northup, Jr.
Ballew's first brush with children's music came in 2002, when he recorded and donated an album of traditional children's songs to the nonprofit Program for Early Parent Support titled "PEPS Sing A Long!" Having a son and daughter himself, he enjoyed making the record but didn't think about it again until 2008 when he discussed working on a children's book with his wife, collage artist Kate Endle. Ballew began digging up nursery rhymes and folk songs in the public domain, songs that have been reinterpreted and passed down through generations. This, in addition to a number of original songs, formed his first full-length release, "Here I Am!"
The album was a hit, and Ballew began to perform in the Seattle area. A longtime friend, Fred Northup, heard the album while working on a project with Ballew, and Northup offered to play as his live percussionist. Northup, a Seattle-based comedy improvisor, suggested his frequent collaborator Ron Hippe as a keyboard player, and Ballew subsequently auditioned Hippe. Christening the two "Frederick Babyshirt" and "Ronald Babyshoes", they officially became the Caspar Babypants live band in 2009. Ballew is the primary creative force behind Caspar Babypants and records, produces, masters and distributes the albums from his home studio. Northup and Hippe frequently appear on his recordings but have not played live with Caspar since May of 2012. Currently Ballew performs exclusively as a solo artist.
Caspar Babypants is a true do it yourself (DIY) venture with Ballew running the Aurora Elephant Music record label, booking shows, running the studio, and producing and distributing the albums.
- PEPS SIng A Long (released 2002, re-released as a digital download in 2010)
- Here I Am! (released 2009) Special guests: Jen Wood, Fysah Thomas
- More Please! (released 2009) Special guests: Fred Northup, Ron Hippe
- This Is Fun! (released 2010) Special guests: Fred Northup, Ron Hippe, Krist Novoselic, Charlie Hope
- Many Hands: Family Music for Haiti CD (released 2010) - Compilation of various artists
- Sing Along! (released 2011) Special guests: Fred Northup, Ron Hippe, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Stone Gossard, Frances England, Rachel Loshak
- Hot Dog! (released 4/17/12) Special guests: Fred Northup, Ron Hippe, Rachel Flotard (Visqueen)
- I Found You! (released 12/18/12)
- Exclusive: Chris Ballew of The Presidents of the United States of America (aka Caspar Babypants)!, retrieved 2010-09-06
- Chris Ballew’s Back With Caspar Babypants, retrieved 2010-09-06