About The Artist: These days there may be lots of rockers making kid-friendly records, but there’s only one Ralph Covert, an irrepressibly enthusiastic performer who rocks just as hard for kids as he does for grown-ups. Perma-grin on his face, lime-green Chuck Taylors on his feet—even at the Grammies! —his traveling circus of catchiness known as Ralph’s World is equally loved by cool-seeking parents as it is by children, fortunate to be living in an era where their music both rocks and respects their intelligence and curiosity. Look no further than The New York Times, which said, in a front-page Arts section story, “It is possible that Mr. Covert will turn out to be [the] genre’s Elvis Presley, or at the very least its Elvis Costello.” Covert is the ringmaster of a packed tent of creativity, even beyond Ralph’s World. He’s an award-winning playwright, has written books (including the circus-themed Sawdust and Spangles), and music for adult theatrical dramas and children’s musicals. Given all that, it’s no wonder that Disney sought out the indefatigable performer for its Disney Sound label. While it may easy to take the current enlightened state of children’s music for granted, the current landscape owes a lot to performers like Covert, who began putting music the entire family could embrace on the road and on record more than seven years ago. “When I was asked to make a kids record, I said I’d be interested—instead—in making a great record that kids like,” he recalls. Ralph’s World brings grown-up values of resonant songcraft (with wry, inventive wordplay), musical sophistication and energetic, rock ’n’ roll performances to children’s music. It’s an approach that’s gotten the attention of the Recording Academy, which nominated 2005’s Green Gorilla, Monster & Me for a Grammy. Covert has appeared on CBS’ Early Show, NPR’s All Things Considered, ABC’s World News Tonight, earned raves from Time, Newsweek and People, headlined a coast-to-coast tour of House of Blues venues (unprecedented for a kids artist) and sold out shows at Chicago’s Ravinia festival (8,000+ capacity) for the past three years running. “Ralph’s World feels like an extension of all the things I was already doing,” Covert says. “Although it’s a direction I hadn’t expected.” But Covert is really too modest—with a revolution in children’s music underway, it’s not a “direction,” it’s a movement, with Ralph and his “rhyming circus” merrily leading the charge. Ladies and gentlemen, and children of all ages are invited to come join in the fun.
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