SAN DIEGO, CA (June 19, 2012) -- With ten major national awards in their hip pocket and an eight-year track record of glowing critical acclaim, the beloved "free-range, organic" kid-folk duo Hullabaloo has pulled out all the stops for their 10th studio CD, Raise a Ruckus.
Produced by GRAMMY® nominee Tor Hyams, Raise a Ruckus takes Hullabaloo's down-home, good-times musical ebullience to a new level, with guest artistsGrammy® winner Buck Howdy, Grammy® winner Marcy Marxer, Molly Ledford of Lunch Money, and the extraordinary multi-instrumentalist Dennis Caplinger— whose credits include Eric Clapton, JJ Cale, Vince Gill, Ray Price, Rita Coolidge, and Nickel Creek, among many others — bringing their considerable talents to a kick-up-your-heels party with the duo that's been described as a blend of Johnny Cash, Woody Guthrie, and Mr. Rogers.
Hullabaloo has made a career out of creating tickle-your-funnybone, laugh-out-loud humor that saturates every song and qualifies them as direct heirs to the likes of Homer & Jethro and the Hoosier Hot-Shots. The clever quality of Hullabaloo's narrations sets the story of each song in a halo of brainy sophistication, while their knockout musicianship and vocal clarity deliver the entire production with a sense of effortless grace. Steve Denyes and Brendan Kremer can safely challenge any parent or child to listen to them cut loose on a goofy gem like "Dad Upside Down" without cracking a smile. That kind of infectious humor permeates every track of Raise a Ruckus.
The album's title song — in the old days, a real "get down and boogie" staple on Louisiana Hayride and The Grand Ole Opry — has been given new, kid-friendly lyrics and up-to-date energy, while other songs, like "Trash is My Treasure" (the triumphant anthem of a food-recycling seagull) have a more contemporary slant. One of the most evocatively colorful songs on Raise a Ruckus, "Favorite Day," calls upon Molly Ledford to combine her vocal and xylophone talents with those of Dennis Caplinger on ukulele and dobro, along with the great sound of Gunnar Biggs' slap bass. Buck Howdy really shines on a "Song About Nothing," which proves that if a song has a great shape and energy, syntax takes a back seat.
Steve Denyes and Brendan Kremer met in kindergarten and have been friends ever since. They started playing music together in the 5th grade band, where they vigorously showed off their developing talents on "Old MacDonald" and "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." Little did they know that, decades later, these songs would still be among their biggest hits! Steve grew up to be an elementary school music teacher, folksinger, and songwriter, while Brendan became a rock 'n' roll drummer. Hullabaloo officially began when Steve and Brendan teamed up to play a few songs at Brendan's twin daughters' first birthday party. Fast-forward eight years to find that Hullabaloo has performed more than 1,500 shows throughout the country at venues ranging from birthday parties to fancy concert halls. Along the way they've released nine award-winning albums (at last count, with more than 20,000 sold) and developed a loyal following nationwide.
Raise A Ruckus has been playing almost non-stop in my home during the last month or so! When you are listening to a children's CD and even the adults are enjoying it, you know its a keeper.
Although I have been working with children for over 12 years I have never heard of the music group, Hullabaloo, until now. Wow, I have truly been missing out. This duo combines twang, funk, folk, rock and blues throughout the CD, offering children exposure to a great variety of music genres. I love that from a learning perspective and I also love that Raise A Ruckus will get your toys tapping and your body moving from the first bars of music. Perfect music for gross motor activities, like Musical Chairs or even just running around in the yard.
Our family favorite tracks include: Look At You, Raise A Ruckus, and Green Beans Everywhere. I will definitely be looking to see where I can locate the rest of Hullabaloo's music locally (if I have to I will get it online).
If you are looking for a great gift idea for a child in your life, I highly recommend the CD, Raise A Ruckus today! I give this CD a huge thumbs up!
BUY IT: You can purchase Raise A Ruckus from Hullabaloo when it releases September 4th, on the official website.
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Raise A Ruckus
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GOOD LUCK TO ALL.
***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***