Infectious is almost never a good word, especially when you're talking about children.
But Boxtop Jenkins invades your ears with a squeaky-clean kind of infection – one that cheers you up instead of deadening your system.
I can hear you asking, "What the heck is a Boxtox Jenkins?" and "Where do I get my vaccination?" But hear me out first.
Mighty Mighty Bosstones, that's the first song you want to spin on Boxtop's new CD, YOU'RE HAPPIER WHEN YOU'RE HAPPY.
The songs touch on a number of common kid things, such as Halloween ("Gettin' Down on Halloween" and "Rattlin' Rattlin' Bones," which features guest artist Shawn Mullins) and monkeys ("Five Little Monkeys," also with Mullins and "Swingin' Monkeys").
The title of the album comes from the song "Wag More," which has guest vocals from the Indigo Girls. The song is a moral song by a man who met a talking dog:
Wag more, bark less, 'cause you're happier when you're happy.
You're happier when you're happy.
So wag more.
The clever wordplay that I mentioned comes clearly into play on the song, "My Uncle is an Ant":
My uncle is an ant and he works inside a plant.
Every day along his way he greets the doorman.
It's a plant inside a plant
And my busy uncle ant
is always busy at the plant 'cause he's the foreman.
It's not often that a children's musician has a "day job" conceivably more interesting than his sideline singing for kids. But Jenkins (Bunn) is also a puppeteer with the American Kasper Theater. Long story short, it's a form of german puppetry that dates back to the 17th century using very archetypal characters.
Day and night, Jenkins spends his time finding ways to entertain and inform children. Boxtop Jenkins' YOU'RE HAPPIER WHEN YOU'RE HAPPY might even chase the blues away during these dreary post-Hurricane Sandy days.
YOU'RE HAPPIER WHEN YOU'RE HAPPY is available through Boxtop Jenkins' website, CDBABY, and iTunes.