Monday, January 18, 2010

Happnin Tunes: Bari Koral Family Rock Band

Over the summer I’ve had the pleasure of listening to a preview copy of Bari Koral’s Rock and Roll Garden in my search for funky new tunes to bring to the Monkeytail & Wellington library. It has been a hit from my two junior staff critics and is on popular request for car trips and chill out time, which for me rates as two thumbs up.

Hailed at the Sheryl Crow for kids and Norah Jones with a smidge of honkey tonk, Bari Koral herself is an acclaimed singer songwriter (and yoga instructor!), boasting a track record as a top grossing folk/pop singer on the college circuit. Bari grew tired of the constant travel after 8 yrs and new a change was neigh. So heading on back to her home town near Kindie Rock central NYC, Bari began performing at the Long Island Children’s Museum writing songs on the go with the kids in the audience. After suggestion from John Medeski of Medeski, Martin & Wood, who had just released their own children’s album, she began writing music specifically for children. Her first album for kids the Bari Koral Family Rock Band was released in 2007 and the song “Dad’s New car” was honoured as a Children’s Music Web Award Finalist.

Rock and Roll Garden is the Bari Koral Family Rock Band’s second album and it’s a heap of fun. I love that she has taken familiar ditties from childhood such as "three little ducks" and transformed it in to the catchy "Hey Ducky", which has become her signature track when performing live. I’d go as far to say it’s aimed at 3-6 yr olds with a couple of deeper tracks thrown in for the grown ups. Hey Ducky, the Backpack Song and Pop are big fav’s here, and Best Friends and Uh Oh make me reminisce about childhood and promises made.

Listening to the album, even driving around in the car, make me feel as though we are privy to a live performance. There are kids singing in the background featured widely on the album and prompts my own to joining in and should out and sing along with them. Real music from a real musician engaging with her audience is a refreshing change :)

Bari’s latest album Rock and Roll Garden was released on Jan 12 and is available at

Learn a Sun Salutation with Bari in her clip for the Sun Dance below, or visit her website for more info

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