Here's a list of some articles and reviews about the Funky Kidz CD. Thanks to everyone for your continued support through the development, production, and promotion of this project!
From Offbeat Magazine
By John Swenson
Children’s music isn’t just about children anymore. Today’s kids music records are also made with adults in mind, and not just in the “why don’t you play something we can all listen to?” sense. But a new children’s record, Funky Kidz, put together by a class of ’93 Tulane graduate, gives a different twist to the idea. Lauren Busch Singer, a mother of two boys age six and nine, tried to figure out what kind of music her kids wanted to listen to before they were even born. She played children’s records, heavy metal, jazz, classical, rock and lullabies, but realized that her fetal music fans responded best to the New Orleans music she listened to for her own enjoyment. “George Porter, Jr.’s ‘Happy Song’ was the first tune my boys recognized when they were infants,” Busch Singer recalls. “The minute they fussed, I played the tune and they smiled.”
Busch Singer eventually decided to put together an album’s worth of children’s songs played by her favorite New Orleans musicians, a project so long in the making that her 9-year-old Jake was able to participate in the role of assistant producer. Busch Singer collaborated with a couple of heavy hitters to help bring the project home—Tracey Freeman, the man responsible for Harry Connick, Jr.’s recording career and numerous other New Orleans albums; and music industry veteran Steve Alaimo. The key to the album’s success, though, is the terrific performances delivered by the likes of Papa Grows Funk, Paul Sanchez, Porter, Theresa Andersson, Ivan Neville, Bonerama, Big Sam’s Funky Nation and the Radiators. In fact, this compilation compares very favorably with most of the Katrina benefit projects that have proliferated over the last two years.
The Papa Grows Funk reading of “Yellow Submarine” is the hands-down highlight. The merry, bellowing voice of John Gros, who admits to “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” as one of his earliest childhood influences, is the perfect instrument to deliver this Ringo delight, a song that has one of the greatest sing-along choruses in rock history, and PGF does that hootenanny ample justice. “I used to teach preschool when I got out of college,” says Gros, “and that’s one of the songs I used to use. The kids always loved it, so that’s why I picked it. I just went into the studio, played a homemade demo for the band and we cut it on the spot. We had a great time. We were cracking up all the way through it. Everybody sang it; June [Yamagishi] is in there, too.”
Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most effective, especially when you’re dealing with the free-flowing, contemporaneous feel of the best New Orleans music. One can easily imagine Ernie K-Doe, Earl King and Lee Dorsey collaborating on a similar concept. Then again, when Putumayo released an album of kids’ music from New Orleans, they included some classic R&B including “They All Asked for You,” so maybe they did!
A portion of the proceeds will go to fostering music education for New Orleans children.
Published April 2008, OffBeat Louisiana Music & Culture Magazine, Volume 21, No. 4.
Greetings, Disney fans! Boyhowdy of folk coverblog Cover Lay Down here, back to lay another new find upon your ears. Today we take a trip down the delta to the Crescent City itself, where a star-studded cast of New Orleans musicians from swampy funkmeisters The Radiators and Ivan Neville to deep southern bluesman Walter "Wolfman" Washington have pulled together to lend their support to music education with the release of FUNKY KIDZ, a brand new collection of "funkified classic hits for children and adults". And there's no better place to start than the kick-off track, a fine, funky version of the Toy Story theme song You've Got A Friend of Me by BONERAMA.
Though Randy Newman originally wrote the song for his own rolling piano pop style, You've Got A Friend in Me plays out as a terrific New Orleans second line number, full of trombones and barrelhouse swing, and ballsy New Orleans brass band Bonerama (Best Rock Band, Big Easy Awards 2007) has the chops to pull it off with aplomb. And I can vouch for the fact that the song is equally awesome in the ears of kids and adults alike, as my daughters and I have been bopping along to this one for weeks, ever since I snagged a copy of the pre-release.
Read the full article here >>
By: Jeffrey P. Dupuis
When I was a child, I don't remember there being any such thing as music marketed directly to children. I can remember borrowing my older brother's friends' albums and playing them on my portable toy record player and recording them on my toy tape recorder to have a copy. Don't laugh, this was years before the advent of digital downloads or the Internet and seemed pretty swift for a seven or eight year old.
I also remember with great chagrin long car rides that included my seven younger siblings. Although I do not have any children of my own, I am well acquainted with the likes of Barney the Purple Dinosaur, Rafi, The Wiggles, The Imagination Movers and the Baby Mozart series. If any of these names ring a bell, then you're in luck. Not since Garcia and Grisman's Not for Kids Only (1993) has there been a kids collection likes this. Funky Kidz (released March 4 by ASAP Productions) is a project that manages to capture a spirit that most children's music is sorely lacking – genuine funk.
The collection opens with a swinging version of "You've Got a Friend in Me" by Bonerama. Big Sam's Funky Nation delivers a spirited version of the "Hokey Pokey" with the energy of a gaggle of six-year-olds hopped up on Pixy Stix; the perfect soundtrack for wearing toddlers out. Dumpstaphunk's "Zip a Dee Doo Dah" is sublime, and this deep funk take on this tune is worthy of being incorporated into the band's regular sets. The Beatles "Yellow Submarine" surfaces from the Mississippi River courtesy of Papa Grows Funk who'll make you want to join the crew of this seasoned vessel. Paul Sanchez turns the Wizard of Oz's "If I Only Had a Brain" into a sweet lullaby that compliments the other naptime tunes including "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Theresa Andersson, "Garden Song" by Amanda Shaw and a swinging sing-a-long "This Little Light of Mine" by Ingrid Lucia.
George Porter Jr takes the album to Sunday school with his moving rendition of "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" that will make the kids wonder why their church isn't this spirited. The eponymous hero of "Froggy Went a Courtin" is transformed by The Radiators' into a swaggering gunslinger for whom courting, by the sound of the music, is very serious business. Walter 'Wolfman' Washington charges through a funky, romping "This Land is Your Land" that will make the kids boogie. Silliness returns to round out the album with Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes ' "When I See an Elephant Fly" that will make adults giggle, too.
Give yourself a break and your kids - and kids at heart - a better appreciation for music. The collection is definitely a great stepping stone towards good music we can all enjoy.
JamBase | The Pocket
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[Published on: 3/14/08]
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