Who is Randy Kaplan?
Some people go into a kids' album project with the idea that they have to become this goofy alter ego in order to appease the "children's music" preconception. Not so Randy Kaplan. No, Kaplan has a unique style, musically and lyrically, that translates smoothly to the kids' music world without having to change a thing.
Along with another album for families, Five Cent Piece, Kaplan has recorded over half-a-dozen more CDs for grownups during the past decade or so. His music is lyrical, narrative, and intimate, and he sticks to his style for both adult and children's releases.
The Music of 'Loquat Rooftop'
The talespinner in Kaplan shines through on his latest children's CD, Loquat Rooftop, with songs like the New Orleans shuffle "Clothes Dryer", the talking blues "No Nothing", the superdescriptive "The Ladybug Without Spots", and the title tune, a stream of consciousness account of a lovely evening atop a Brooklyn apartment building. Randy is a storyteller at heart, and it really shows on Loquat Rooftop.
As with "Over the Rainbow" and "You Can't Always Get What You Want" on last year's Five Cent Piece, Kaplan knows how to pick just the right cover songs, tunes that you think would be too hokey to make the cut on a kids' record, but are somehow transformed into classic singalongs. This time 'round, "Tomorrow", from Annie, is given the sweetest treatment you'll ever hear, while versions of Leadbelly's "Good Morning Blues", Leiber & Stoller's "Charlie Brown" and Hank Williams' "Move It On Over" rock enough to make yer kids wanna explore the originals.
Throw in some tunes like the poppypunk "Mazal Mazal", the silly "The Sour Song", the mini-skit "Boogie Woogie Washer Woman", the tender "(Don't Say) Anything at All", and the most "kids' song" song on the album "The Fire Engine", and, hey! you've got yerself a pretty solid CD!
Loquat Rooftop is Kaplan at his best: memories; images, figurative and literal; sights, sounds, smells, flavors, textures; humor and fun ... all in the form of a song. Randy is one of Brooklyn's hidden gems in the world of kids' music. Check out his work and discover a treasure.
Released March 14, 2008; Yellow Thing Records and Books