On the heels of their highly acclaimed, groundbreaking double CD release Wonderstuff, independent children s recording group Recess Monkey has set a July 15 release for their new studio CD, Tabby Road (Monkey Mama, $15.00). The album includes material from Recess Monkey s Tabby Road Recording Sessions at which kids in the audience were recorded singing live, during two 2008 Seattle shows.
Recess Monkey is Daron Henry (percussion and vocals), Jack Forman (bass and vocals), and Drew Holloway (vocals, guitars, and piano.) They are teachers of preschool and elementary aged children who met while teaching at the same school in Seattle. What started as a homemade demo for a graduate class turned into their 2005 debut release Welcome to Recess Monkey Town ... One aspect of this group that sets them apart from the very crowded field of children's pop music is the inclusive way they share their musical talents. Many, many bands boast songs that speak to kids sensibilities, but not many actually have kids help compose, record, and design the CDs!
Recess Monkey wrote and recorded Tabby Road during weekends and vacations from teaching their kindergarten and elementary classes. As with all Recess Monkey albums, the songs on Tabby Road are driven by kids inspiration. A conversation about loose teeth on the way to an ice-skating field trip led to the song Dr. Wiggle. The celebrated occasion of an entire class sitting in a circle, cupcakes in hand, awaiting the birthday celebrant's first bite, led to the first song "Birthday Bite."Every song has its roots deeply embedded in the experience of discovering the world through a child s eyes. As is the case with the all of Recess Monkey's growing catalog, Tabby Road pays homage to many of the band's musical inspirations, from the Beatles to John Vanderslice (who, once again, is specifically mentioned- this makes three albums in a row!) Tabby Road veers from rockabilly to sweetness to something resembling a hoedown. Tracks 9 through 16 of the album are a monster medley a la Abbey Road.
ParentMap wrote, The perennial Seattle favorites (three elementary school teachers) rock like the laid-back Beatles lovers they are... Playful, silly and very, very fun.
School Library Journal wrote that "Recess Monkey often sounds like a 60's band similar to Herman's Hermits ... The lyrics tell fantastic stories that are fun and educational. This must-have album will be circulated again and again. Wrote Children s Music That Rocks, Incredibly hooky chord changes and sophisticated arrangements... far above yer average kids' album;"
As Recess Monkey prepares for a coast-to-coast summer tour (they re hitting the "Tabby Road!"), Tabby Road will be a calling card for the dynamic trio s one-of-a-kind, kid-driven music.