Kid Tested Tunes
Kids grades K-5 really enjoy this family-friendly album because each song has a different style, from the rollicky fun of Luke on a Bike and the classic Yankee Doodle to the slightly spooky Jabberwocky. David has a light baritone voice that a lot of people -- kids and adults alike -- find very engaging, and that isn't often heard in children's music. And he has a sly sense of humor that doesn't hit you over the head, but adds to the fun of many of his songs. The music isn't condescending and has no "attitude" or noise. It exposes kids to a wide variety of styles that are part of our rich musical tradition -- so much of which is being lost as everything gets reduced to rock-and-roll. This may explain why many parents have called his music family-friendly -- because a lot of adults like it, too. For almost 20 years, David wrote all the music for the children's theater at the People's Light and Theatre Company, a professional theater company near Philadelphia, PA. Now he's on his own, still doing what he loves best -- writing and arranging music for kids. He lives in northern Chester County, Pennsylvania. These tunes are different from much of the music kids hear these days, so we thought you'd appreciate some short commentary: Under My Bed is a jazzy-bluesy look at how kids - and grownups, too - might sometimes like to deal with their problems: get under their bed where 'trouble won't find me.' Luke on a Bike captures the great sense of freedom kids experience when they first learn to ride - and practically makes you feel the breeze, right along with Luke. A Whistler and His Dog is an instrumental old favorite from the early 20th century that you've probably heard many times and never knew the name of. It's perfect to skip to. Tom Big Bee River is a folksy tune with some subtle jokes (like can he really steer the boat with his toe while he's playing the banjo?) Yankee Deedle Dandy is based on the original Yankee Doodle, which was written from the perspective of a boy during the American Revolution. (No riding on a pony or calling anything macaroni.) David wrote some new verses and and wove in two old-time fiddle tunes, "Soldier's Joy" and "Liberty." Dragons is a slightly wacky waltz that's really a comment on how mean, greedy people get that way - it's "nurture," not "nature." The Fox in the Meadow is an instrumental Renaissance-style dance piece that always seems to get kids...well... dancing. Jabberwocky is Lewis Carroll's wonderful wordplay poem set to a tune that's just a little spooky - except for the father's monologue, which is the tune of the medieval Cornish May Song. Has Anybody Here Seen Jack? is another early 20th-century song about a dog owner who's lost his favorite pet. It's a good thing David can whistle. Moon Bird/Bolo Rag is an early 20th-century instrumental that exposes kids to a variety of styles that you just don't hear anymore, including a rag and a tango, with a lot of interesting instrumentation.