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Loquat Rooftop

Loquat Rooftop

[CD]

~ Randy Kaplan

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"One of the most exciting newcomers to kids' music since Dan Zanes." -PARENTING MAGAZINE "He doesn't dumb it down for the kids... He just expects them to come along for the ride. And they do." -TIME OUT NEW YORK KIDS Randy's latest album, LOQUAT ROOFTOP, has made children's top ten lists nationwide including NPR's Kathy O'Connell's! In his songs for children and their families Randy Kaplan blends American Roots, Folk, Alternative, and Pop. He intricately finger-picks and strums his way through unpredictable live shows which, in addition to his original compositions, include Tin Pan Alley gems, Broadway numbers, and Delta Blues songs. He is as indebted to I.B. Singer, Maurice Sendak, and Ogden Nash as he is to Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie, and Dave Van Ronk. He just never imagined that so many of his groupies would be under the age of nine. Reviews for Loquat Rooftop, as they roll in: 'Roots rocker Randy Kaplan is one of those happy-they-exist people you can't quite tell is playing kids' music. And yet he is... He'll introduce kids to authentic-sounding originals as well as Tin Pan Alley numbers, Broadway showstoppers, and Delta blues.' -New York Magazine 'What's a loquat? It turns out that it's an Asian fruit, but it's also the subject of a song by Randy Kaplan... whose music combines rock, blues and stories.' -The New York Times 'Singer/storyteller Randy Kaplan crafts a brassy, old-timey collection with subjects from 'The Fire Engine' ('It's big, it's red / It's metal with water') to laundry camp ('Clothes Dryer'). 'The Ladybug Without Spots' showcases Kaplan's bluesy storytelling. (Top Ten Children's CDs of 2008)' -National Public Radio (NPR) 'Kaplan returns with more of the half-singing, half-storytelling style that made his first kids' CD, Five Cent Piece, such fun. His musical tales-which follow such interesting characters as a cat named Nothing and a ladybug with no spots-slip into more varied genres this time around, with elements of Spanish guitar and New Orleans-style jazz trumpets added in along the way.' -Christopher Healy / Cookie Magazine 'This has been a banner year for family music, with all kinds of unusual choices, sometimes from already famous artists and often from artists who should be famous. Randy Kaplan is of the latter variety, as his second children's album, Loquat Rooftop attests. A singer-songwriter who bounces between New York and California, Kaplan carries his eclectic interests in roots rock, folk, blues, standards, and theater onto this CD. Listening to this recording feels like hanging out with a guy who's playing what he loves and making it completely his own, especially on classics such as country legend Hank Williams's 'Move It On Over' and Annie's Broadway chesnut, 'Tomorrow.' Although I hesitate to do much comparing, Kaplan shares a subtly subversive playfulness in his original compositions with Peter Himmelman, as evidenced by story-songs of 'The Sour Song' and 'No Nothing.' Then, when you get to the footstomping revelry of 'Boogie Woogie Washer Woman' and the elegantly starry title tune, it's easy to conclude that this is a musician bravely taking kids to a textured world of music history and contemporary inventiveness.' -Gregory Keer / FamilyManOnline.com 'Randy Kaplan is another artist taking elements of folk, blues and rock and delivering an amazing collection of songs. Loquat Rooftop, his second release for children, gets the kids up and ready with the bluesy, twangy 'Good Morning Blues.' 'Clothes Dryer' carries you away to a lazy summer day in the Louisiana bayou, as Kaplan sings the story of how he learned how to wash his clothes. And if you've wondered what it would sound like if someone sang 'Charlie Brown' at the Grand Ole Opry, you can hear it here. There's even a great rendition (with kids singing along) of 'Move It On Over.' Stick around for the end of the disc as he offers up a slow and lovely mandolin and horn version of 'Tomorrow.' Loquat Rooftop wraps up very nicely with the slide guitar- and harmonica-heavy song 'Gotta Get Gone.' Randy Kaplan has a gift of performing songs with lyrics kids will enjoy and music their parents will really dig.' -ChattanoogaParentMagazine.com 'Randy Kaplan is a very clever singer, mostly from Brooklyn though he's recently apparently hit the road and is wandering between Brooklyn, Colorado, and California. His first record, Five Cent Piece, had some very funny songs, most notably the tale of the shark who appeared in Randy's tub, demanding, 'Shampoo Me,' which invariably causes intense giggling in our house. Loquat Rooftop is similarly funny, with 'No Nothing' (about a cat named Nothing and some other oddly-monikered critters) and 'Clothes Dryer' (in which he reminisces about laundry camp), along with some cool covers (Charlie Brown, Move It On Over). The CD has some sweet moments, too, most notably with the title track evoking a summer evening in the city enjoying the Asian fruit called a loquat. The music ranges from fairly straight-up folk to something with a more bluesy vibe, but, even in those familiar genres, nobody really sounds like him.' -LittleRockFamily.com 'I've never thought of the Blues as particularly cheerful until I heard Brooklyn's Randy Kaplan sing Good Morning Blues, the first song on Loquat Rooftop. Amidst the amazingly nimble-fingered guitar work, I heard him ask, Good morning blues....blues How do you do? to which a little voice shouted back, Good...hungry! 'It's that happy-go-lucky feel throughout that had me wishing that Randy was sitting in our living room telling his stories directly to the kids. Songs like the hilariously odd No Nothing has a catchy chorus which makes me croon, I know nothing, you know nothing all day long. And, there is a whole funky orchestra of instruments on this CD, from harmonica to trombone to banjo which crank out music that is so darned good you won't care that this is a kids' CD. The tempo goes from the fast-and-furious Mazal Mazal, the little girl with a 'laugh so loud it bounces off the moon', to the smooth and mellow title song. There are even a few covers which Randy makes into his own, like the bad-boy Charlie Brown, which, interestingly, is my son's favorite. 'With a unique ability to create great songs out of such everyday matter as laundry and ladybugs, I'm hopeful that Randy will be putting out CD's as long as my kids like to hear stories. And then some.' -Christina / CoolMomPicks.com 'This is absolutely one of my top ten favorite new kids albums of the year. So worth a listen.' -Liz / CoolMomPicks.com 'Randy Kaplan's highly acclaimed first children's CD, Five Cent Piece, firmly established him in the kids' music scene with glowing reviews from children, parents, and critics alike. His second (not just for) kids' CD, Loquat Rooftop, is filled with twangy, good-natured songs that blend American roots, folk, alternative and pop. Randy's playful lyrics, skillful composition, and inviting vocals assure us that he's delighted to set the stage for a perfect all-ages listening session.' -PokeyPup.com 'Though family-friendly, Randy Kaplan's music CD album Loquat Rooftop is not just for kids. Featuring vibrant, original blues/folk-rock songs that flirt with whimsical lyrics and toe-tapping rhythms, Loquat Rooftop makes a most delightful holiday gift. The tracks are 'Good Morning Blues', 'Clothes Dryer', 'Mazal Mazal', 'No Nothing', 'Charlie Brown', 'Move It On Over', 'The Fire Engine', 'Sweetie Pie Honeycake', 'The Ladybug Without Spots', 'Boogie Woogie Washer Woman', 'Loquat Rooftop', 'The Sour Song', 'Go Tell Aunt Rhody', '(Don't Say) Anything at All', 'Tomorrow', and 'Gotta Get Gone'. Highly recommended for all ages. -MidwestBookReview.com 'Some of the best music ever composed is often thought of as such because of it's ability to, either with it's rich lyrical content (i.e., 'Bob Dylan') or passionate instrumentation (i.e., Miles Davis), conjure up vivid images in the listener's mind. While a kiddie rock songwriter may trade visions of Johanna for those of a cinnamon gum ladybug, this same measuring stick of quality is true of music written for the single digit crowd. 'Much like the greats who can be referred to simply by one name (Woody, Seeger, Dylan, Cher - ha!) Randy Kaplan is a dude who knows how to use words as brushstrokes. The picturesque songs of 'Loquat Rooftop' radiate warmth, thanks in large part to his uniquely familiar voice and his front porch style of music. His is the musical equivalent of comfort food. Kaplan's tunes are humorous yet sincere with characters who dance happily in your imagination. He is the John Prine of the children's music scene with lyrics as sharp as an aged cheddar, wit to spare and a delivery that's the perfect marriage of singing and speaking. ''Loquat Rooftop' is his second (not just for) kid's record, and is filled with an eclectic mix of traditional tunes, famous covers ('Charlie Brown', 'Tomorrow' from Broadway's Annie, Hank Williams' 'Move it on Over'), and fabulous folky-jazzy-bluesy originals yet remains centered around the terrific, sentimental title track. With it's gentle, finger-picked acoustic guitar, breezy harmonica and hot summer's day imagery, 'Loquat Rooftop' is one of the best kid's songs released this year (I would've sworn Kaplan was singing about a fictitious fruit but it turns out that loquats are real!). 'Mike West, Kaplan's producer, penned the 2nd best cut on the record in 'Clothes Dryer'. The track features street festival horns that pop and includes the best sing along chorus on the disc in '...Clothes Dryer, ain't we got a line, ain't we got a yard full of sunshine'. Spot OWTK on the road this month and you'll likely see us all silently screaming out those words. 'Kaplan is only two records into his kid's music career, yet I already feel comfortable placing him on the top shelf alongside Justin Roberts and Frances England. I'm stoked to hear what he has in store on future (not just for) kid's releases.' -OutWithTheKids.com / Jeff 'Randy Kaplan is a very clever singer, mostly from Brooklyn though he's recently apparently hit the road and is wandering between Brooklyn, Colorado, and California. His first record, Five Cent Piece, had some very funny songs, most notably the tale of the shark who appeared in Randy's tub, demanding, 'Shampoo Me,' which invariably causes intense giggling in our house. Loquat Rooftop is similarly funny, with 'No Nothing' (about a cat named Nothing and some other oddly-monikered critters) and 'Clothes Dryer' (in which he reminisces about laundry camp), along with some cool covers (Charlie Brown, Move It On Over). The CD has some sweet moments, too, most notably with the title track evoking a summer evening in the city enjoying the Asian fruit called a loquat. The music ranges from fairly straight-up folk to something with a more bluesy vibe, but, even in those familiar genres, nobody really sounds like him.' -SpareTheRock.com / Bill Childs 'Randy Kaplan's debut kids' album, Five Cent Piece, was one of the coolest totally out-of-left-field things I've discovered since doing this blog... Randy always adds much of his own originality and personality and style and humor...and I can't imagine anyone else doing that kind of thing as well as Randy does for a kids audience... Like it's predecessor, Loquat Rooftop includes some originals and some covers...but a significant thing about this new album is that the originals are the real standouts this time around... The feeling of enjoyment is always first and foremost with these originals...And some of the new originals are more straightforward sounding and are quite beautiful, like the title track (the melody of which reminds me a lot of a song that I'm not sure I've ever heard before), '(Don't Say) Anything At All' (I love how he demonstrates what he's talking about with his little kid voices between the verses) and 'Gotta Get Gone', the bluesy closing number. 'A great thing about Randy is that he is not afraid to be downright silly with his voices and jokes when he knows that will serve the material and the intended audience. And by the intended audience, I don't just mean kids... adults eat up well-crafted goofiness, too (Monty Python, Steve Martin during his standup career, the Airplane!/Naked Gun movies, etc.). Certainly, this adult and his wife have laughed out loud many times while listening to this album. Some things like 'The Sour Song' are kind of one-time laughs, as brilliant as they are, but other things are funny again and again, and Randy's eloquently witty wordplay and vocal phrasing is always a joy to listen to. He has a real knack for comedy and entertaining through his music, and I can't wait to hear what he'll come up with next.' -CoolTunesForKids.com / Eric Herman 'It is possible that Brooklyn-based Randy Kaplan could become, if he wanted to, the next Dan Zanes, playing for the moms and dads a mixture of blues and rock that works well for both the kids and adults. But on Loquat Rooftop, his second album for kids, Kaplan continues to follow his own idiosyncratic path that...shows off both his musical and storytelling chops...Loquat Rooftop's mixture of blues and folk-rock, laced with good humor and heart, will appeal to many kids and their adults. Definitely recommended.' -Zooglobble.com / S.A. Shepherd 'Some people go into a kids' album project with the idea that they have to become this goofy alter ego in order to appease the 'children's music' preconception. Not so Randy Kaplan. No, Kaplan has a unique style, musically and lyrically, that translates smoothly to the kids' music world without having to change a thing... Randy is a storyteller at heart, and it really shows on Loquat Rooftop. 'As with 'Over the Rainbow' and 'You Can't Always Get What You Want' on last year's Five Cent Piece, Kaplan knows how to pick just the right cover songs, tunes that you think would be too hokey to make the cut on a kids' record, but are somehow transformed into classic singalongs. This time 'round, 'Tomorrow', from Annie, is given the sweetest treatment you'll ever hear, while versions of Leadbelly's 'Good Morning Blues', Leiber & Stoller's 'Charlie Brown' and Hank Williams' 'Move It On Over' rock enough to make yer kids wanna explore the originals... 'Loquat Rooftop is Kaplan at his best: Memories; images, figurative and literal; sights, sounds, smells, flavors, textures; humor and fun ... all in the form of a song. Randy is one of Brooklyn's hidden gems in the world of kids' music. Get to know him before he breaks out bigtime.' -KidsMusicThatRocks.com / Warren Truitt 'The songs of Randy Kaplan are surreal, familiar and fun. Deceptively folk and blues based children's songs, the tunes on 'Loquat Rooftop' feature both adept finger-picking as well as lyrics that do not dumb down to his audience. That respect for storytelling and of kid's ability to 'get it' is what makes Kaplan's music powerful and fun. It is in the tradition of folkies like Guthrie and Seeger, who spoke truth to power but also wrote songs for kids that let them in on the truth too... 'Throughout the sixteen song set, Kaplan's playing shows he has absorbed American folk, blues and country styles, and delivers his own history lessons with depth and passion. Loquat Rooftop is a fun summer record that the whole family can enjoy, one with wit and bite, and enough wisdom and daring to appease even the most jaded listener.' -MusicEmissions.com / Mike Wood 'Randy Kaplan may come from Brooklyn, but his music radiates with warm, Midwestern Americana. Kaplan's humorous story-songs 'Clothes Dryer' and 'The Ladybug Without Spots' suggest a family-style Arlo Guthrie. His charming original tunes like 'Loquat Rooftop' and the revved-up 'Mazal Mazal' combine with inspired covers (from Leadbelly's 'Good Morning Blues' to the Leiber-Stoller classic 'Charlie Brown' and Annie's 'Tomorrow') to make Kaplan's sophomore disc a pure pleasure for kids and parents.' -Parenthood.com 'As a proud parent of a 21-month old son, I can definitely appreciate wanting to write and compose tracks for children. Kaplan's second children's CD, "Loquat Rooftop" is once again produced by Kansas bluegrass legend Mike West (he also helped out on his '06 gem, "Five Cent Piece"). Ranging from tales about ladybugs without polka dots to deploring the fact that our children have to inherit our mess... my kid loves it! -Smother.net / J-Sin 'Randy Kaplan brings a twangy, southern feel to several classic songs (including Tomorrow, which I played again and again, reliving Annie dreams, and Charlie Brown) and lots of originals (No Nothing was a huge favorite in our car and has been referred to and resung often.) With a mix of folk and alternative, and a little bit of pop ('Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow...') this is a CD I'm certain will be played for quite some time. Buy it or download the album.' -MommiesWithStyle.com 'A mixture of blues and folk-rock. Humorous stories and lyrics from 'The Ladybug Without Spots' to a punk style 'Mazal Mazal'. A variety of classic singalongs: a sweet 'Tomorrow' from Annie, Leadbelly's 'Good Morning Blues', Hank Williams' 'Move It On Over', and 'Charlie Brown'. With interesting originals that shine. They combine a raspy voice with a strangeness that captivates and entertains. A joy to listen to.' -AtoZKidsStuff.com.

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    Details

    Artist: Randy Kaplan
    Title: Loquat Rooftop
    Genre: Children's
    Release Date: 3/14/2008
    Label: CD Baby
    Product Type: CD
    Catalog #: 5637451079
    UPC: 828697002127
    Item #: CDBB700212