Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tobocman Elevating Kids Music With "Escalator"

Regular visitors to this blog know that the majority of the posts are my son Ben's morning playlists. These are the songs that Ben selects to hear (on the following) morning, while he is eating breakfast and getting ready for the school bus. There is also a smaller, two-song playlist for the iPod connected to his clock/radio in his bedroom, which is not listed. His "wake up" selections are generally contain less rocking guitar and more piano-based.

At least two mornings a week, the opening selection is "Home," from David Tobocman's first CD, I COUNT TO 10 AND OTHER VERY HELPFUL SONGS. He can't seem to get enough of it. So we were excited to receive a review copy of Tobocman's third children's CD, ESCALATOR.

A prolific composer who has scored numerous TV shows as well as indie films, Tobocman aims to not write down for kids because "kids are smart...I just try to meet them at their level." If you're looking for a similar recording artist, I'd suggest John Boydston, who has recorded for the past decade-plus as Daddy A Go Go.

ESCALATOR's 11 tracks cover a lot of terrain, literally and figuratively. "Custom Family Spaceship" turns a station wagon/SUV into a vehicle that can go just about anywhere. The title track posits that "up" is synonymous with great adventure and "down" is when you should use the stairs. "America's Our Country" is a three-minute tour of sights and landmarks around the country.

And a remarkable thing happened when we played the album while having dinner. Twenty-two month-old Matthew started singing along with "The Owie Song." Just the chorus, though, not the verse. And the following night, he looked at us and sang, "Ow ow ow," insisting we play it again for him. His older brother chose "Peace Sign" as his favorite track on the CD. When it was finished, Ben replayed the song (as well as a reprise for his brother).

"Here's a song for when you hurt your toes,
Here's a song for when you stub your nose.
Next time you bang your knee,
Just remember these words and melody.
Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow
Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow
Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow
I hurt myself."

Tobocman is not reinventing the wheel. ESCALATOR is filled with accessible, child-friendly rhythms and easy-to-sing lyrics. This is not "world music." There is no overriding agenda. This is not processed by a corporation looking to sell tons of related fan club tchotchkes. Journey into the near future with David Tobocman. Your kids will like what they hear.

ESCALATOR is now available through David Tobocman's website, CDBABY, Amazon, and iTunes.

Here is the video for "America's Our Country:"

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