"There’s no difference between making good music for kids and doing the same for their parents. A good song is a good song," says Ralph Covert about his much-anticipated new release, Ralph’s World: At the Bottom of the Sea. This easy-to-listen-to recording is a clever mix of originals and a fresh approach to old familiars. We willingly follow Covert’s imagination down the rich garden path of our fondest memories, hopes and dreams.
Covert’s musical voice comes from his observation and empathy for the child within us all. Regardless of age, all family members will enjoy the work. His songwriting sensibilities, polished as a teacher at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music, incorporate life observations, reflections and instruction.
There’s a difference between copying a familiar style of music and actually playing it, and Covert nails a variety of musical styles to the wall and puts on quite a show in the process. He never talks down to his audience – whether he’s reminiscing about his childhood cat "Malcolm McGillikitty (The Psychic Cat)," warming the bench for the Cubs in "Baseball Dreams" or counting "18 Wheels on a Big Rig." From country to the Beach Boys, the songs transition effortlessly to the closing lullaby, "Many Things to Know," a reassuring and heartfelt love song.
• Ralph’s World: At the Bottom of the Sea, Ralph Covert, Mini Fresh Records; $12.99 CD; www.minifresh.com.
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From United Parenting Publications, October 2002.