Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Cat's Pajamas - Backseat Driver: A CD Review

PHILADELPHIA, PA (May 24, 2012) – With a 2012 Parents’ Choice® Silver Honor Award for their new CD Backseat Driver proudly in hand, longtime Philadelphia favorite The Cat’s Pajamas is poised to take the rest of the country by storm. Backseat Driver harnesses The Cat’s Pajamas’ high-octane, live sound with 11 electrifying songs that virtually jump out of the speakers to get kids and their grownups moving.

Acclaimed for giving their rocking shows a musical comedy twist, these cats have more than "just another album" up their sleeve. Backseat Driver is an instant Cat's Pajamas dance party — a wild, wonderful world of stories, dance, and music, with the hottest rhythm and the coolest horn line in the business, backing the group's signature "Andrews Sisters" harmonies on songs ranging in style from rock and blues to rap, jazz, Latin and more.  

Enthused Lynne Heffley in her Parents’ Choice® Silver Honor Award review of Backseat Driver, “Unexpected rhythmic variations and spoken dialogue add a comic theatrical touch to ‘Driving in My Car (vroom, vroom vroom)’ and ‘Funky Bears,’ a rap-happy Goldilocks update. Other highlights: a big, brassy nursery rhyme medley (‘Humpty Dumpty’) and ‘I Love My Toes,’ framed by a blues harmonica wail. When ‘Just An Old Jalopy’ goes ‘rollin', rollin', rollin', rollin' down the road’ despite a few set-backs (dead battery, empty gas tank, flat tire), it's an entertaining little mini-musical all by itself.”

Explains Cat’s Pajamas founder/lead singer/bandleader Janet Schreiner, “Backseat Driver was conceived as a road trip soundtrack for families. The album is a kind of mini-musical. Kids pull out the map, put on the CD, and join The Cat's Pajamas on tour in the Catmobile, happily singing and wiggling along for the whole journey. As we write in the liner notes for the album: ‘Map included, no GPS required.’” 

Treasured by thousands of families since 1995 and now winning over a second generation of fans, The Cat's Pajamas is noted for its multi-generational appeal. Small wonder, for the band’s singers and players have an age span of 40 years. While some perforners are in their twenties, three band mates are due to become grandparents by September!  Band members are always delighted to see youthful fans from the early days show up at concerts with their own children, experiencing together the tremendous energy and “kick in the pants” high spirits of The Cat’s Pajamas.

Backseat Driver was co-produced by Daoud Shaw (percussionist for Van Morrison, The Jerry Garcia Band, Etta James), with arrangements by Heath Allen (NPR’s Fresh Air, Philly Musette) and Dan Kleiman (The Fifth Dimension, Boyz II Men, music director for the 76ers house band). The band includes Emmy winning composer Rodney Whittenberg on guitar and bass, Duane Large (Philadelphia Orchestra, The Royal Ballet) on drums, and a slew of Philly’s most talented working musicians. At the heart of the band is lead singer Janet Schreiner, whose “ability to whip kids into a pleasurable frenzy places her among the foremost performers in the children’s music genre” (Patrick Brogan, artistic director of Musikfest).

From the band shell at Central Park to the International Children's Festival at The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, The Cat's Pajamas has received rave reviews galore.  In addition to Backseat Driver, the band has previously released a string of award-winning albums, including Reading Rocks! (2011 Kids' Music Award), Goin' Bananas (2002 Children's Music Web Award), and Cool Music for Kids (2000 Children's Music Web Award). 

My Review:

Backseat Driver is officially one of my new favorite CD's! It is going to get your kids movin' and groovin' in no time, and you will also find yourself singing along. This is definitely not the children's music that many of us grew up with (cue a certain singing purple dino here) and that is a good thing. I absolutely love that the band uses their own voices to create a fun listening experience for even the youngest of music lovers. The favorite tracks for us include Alphabet Soup, Funky Bears, Five Little Buns and Building A Better World. I am a fan of jazz music and love that my children are being exposed to this great genre in a fun and exciting way! You will also experience rock, latin and blues as you listen to this fantastic CD. A very fun way to add music to your adventures this summer. 

I highly recommend this CD and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: Backseat Driver is available online at,,, and iTunes.

One (1) reader 
will win 
a copy
Backseat Driver 

MANDATORY ENTRY: Visit Howlin Records and tell me which track from Backseat Driver you like best

EXTRA ENTRIES: (mandatory entry must be completed for extra entries to count)

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***I received a complimentary copy of the above CD, courtesy of Waldmania PR, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***


  1. track 2 - How Many People in a Family is my favorite

  2. Follow A Mom After God's Own Heart via GFC as Robyn L

  3. Like A Mom After God's Own Heart on Facebook
    as Robyn Lee

  4. Follow you on Twitter as rlee1950

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