When we got home from Boston last week, I was delighted to find a thick package of music to review from my friends over at Sugar Mountain PR. It arrived just in time for yet another road trip, this time to Maryland for my best friend’s wedding. So with all of the new tunes loaded onto my iPod, and all of my children plus my wife and mother loaded into the car, we set forth on a journey of miles and musics. Next week I will tell you all about most of what we were listening to, but today I want to talk a little bit about Raffi.
Raffi has been around for about as long as I can remember. When I was a child myself I would be wandering about singing “Baby Beluga” and “Down By the Bay,” and now I get to sing them with my own children. That’s pretty cool. But even cooler is the fact that he is still making new music decades later! A few weeks ago he posted a song on his Facebook page inspired by Bernie Sanders. That’s how up to date he is. And a few weeks before that he released a new album called “Owl Singalong.”
A lot of the music I have reviewed on this page has been in what is now called the “kindie” style. That is to say, it is grown-up music for kids. It is indie rock, sung by indie rock musicians, but with an eye towards children. This is not that. This is Raffi. Do you remember Raffi from your youth? This is him. This is folk music. It’s good old-fashioned hokey fun, and my kids loved it.
One thing my kids love is when you take a normal song and make it silly and/or weird. Raffi is good at that, so immediately some of our favorite tunes off the new album were The Lion Pokey, which is just the Hokey Pokey being sung by a lion, and Dog on the Bus, which is basically the song you would get if “The Wheels on the Bus” married “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” and they had a song baby.
Another thing my kids really like is just generally silliness, and Raffi is nothing if not silly. You May Be a Triangle and Who Hoo Could I Be are then instantly regarded as excellent, and of course Owl Singalong is full of terrible puns about owls, so I obviously enjoyed that. And I was surprised to hear Ruby singing along to Somos El Barco from the backseat, but she told me she learned it in school and she loves that song. Works for me.
The reason I have separated Raffi out from the rest of my stack of free music is that, in this instance, I am able to share some free music with you as well. My PR friends have generously offered to send a copy of “Owl Singalong” to one of my readers, and that lucky reader just might be you! All you have to do to enter your name into the hat is to click on that little widget just underneath me and do some of the things it asks you to do. You could go check out Raffi on FB and hear his Bernie song, or you could cement our personal relationship by following me on Twitter or hanging out on Facebook with me! However you want to do it, the more buttons you click, the more chances you have to win this great album of children’s music from possible the greatest children’s musician of all time. I hope you win! (Yes, you specifically.)