A little education can be a dangerous thing, if placed in the wrong hands. Luckily for us, Alastair Moock knows just what to do with a little education. Now, I'm not saying he's got limited experience. Far from it – Alastair's resume includes a 2014 Grammy nomination, a Parents' Choice Gold Medal, and a trio of National Parenting Publications Gold Awards. On the contrary, Alastair makes music that teaches your kids with a soupçon of brain-growing content.
His latest CD, ALL KINDS OF YOU AND ME, is Alastair's personal take on the classic 1970s FREE TO BE...YOU AND ME collection. While not as groundbreaking (and few children's music performers aspire to achieve those lofty standards), ALL KINDS... sits comfortably as a companion piece. Once you've mentioned FREE TO ME... it's almost incumbent to make the comparison. Okay, I've done it. Let's move on.
Rani Arbo, Anand Nayak, Jennifer Kimball, Samirah Evans, Debbie Lan, and Mark Erelli. Cover art is provided by illustrator and kindie musician Key Wilde. If anything has changed from the 1970s, it's that "that" world was more concerned about "boy things and girl things." Gender roles between the sexes have become so complicated that Alastair largely leaves the topic alone for younger listeners, save for "You Might Be A Girl."
In place of gender politics, Alastair turns to world issues. Alas, this is my weak spot. "Kenya Imagine?" is a neat conceit, but that's what Putumayo is for. He is on better footing with catchy tunes like "It Takes All Kinds" and "My Life (Is A Lot Like Yours)." And he takes to jauntily strumming for an inclusive take on "People":
People people people you meet
Look at all the people walking down the street
Some are grumpy and some are sweet
Some like bananas some like peas
Alastair takes people down south for some zydeco flavor with "Everything's Upside-down But Me" and closes with a solid narrative take on his childhood hero Woody Guthrie's classic "This Land Is Your Land." In between, he and his friends are busy and upbeat. They're not kidding about the concept – there's eight "you" or "me" instances in the album's 12 tracks. Alastair is sincere about promoting the pioneering efforts of such people as Dr. Martin Lither King and Gloria Steinem. And a little education in the right hands has never sounded as sweet.
Alastair Moock and Friends descend on Madison Square Park on Thursday, June 18 for part of the annual summer children's concert series. If you're interested, drop by and take a listen for yourself.
ALL KINDS OF YOU AND ME is available June 19 from Alastair's website, Amazon, iTunes, and CDBABY.
Here is the video for the song, "It Takes All Kinds":
Oh – and rustic roots revival racounteur Red Yarn (Andy Furgeson) is back soon. Here's the first video from "Deep Woods Revival," his upcoming CD. It's "Bile Them Cabbage." Tell me that's not obscure!