Thank you to Uncle Rock and Sugar Mountain P.R. for participating in the Goodie Goodie Gumdrops Earth Week Event!
I'm a firm believer that children need to be made aware of their impact on the environment from an early age. The sooner you teach them responsible practices, the more it will become a natural habit. My son is still young but I try to demonstrate eco-friendliness by avoiding chemical-laden products, limiting water usage, recycling, composting and including him in lawn care and gardening activities. As he gets older, I hope he will take our lead and assume a more active role.
Children's media is catching on by devoting entire episodes, stories and songs to our environment this Earth Day. But Uncle Rock has taken it one step further with his new eco-themed album, The Big Picture.
Uncle Rock (aka Robert Burke Warren) is no stranger to the music scene. He previously performed as a bass player in many rock and roll bands, including garage rock band The Fleshtones, and co-wrote songs for multi-Grammy winner Rosanne Cash and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Wanda Jackson. He was also chosen to portray the legendary Buddy Holly in London's West End production of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story. It wasn't until he took a sabbatical from performing to become a stay-at-home dad that he was introduced to the world of children's music. In his desire for a shared experience with his son, he began creating music for preschoolers and their parents. Four albums later, Uncle Rock is a household name, with his offbeat topics and dynamic live shows.
The Big Picture is a socially conscious salute to Uncle Rock's musical heroes. The 12 original songs (and 2 covers) offer sonic nods to David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Cat Stevens, the Ramones and Johnny Cash. Known for his rockabilly style and lyricism inspired by Roald Dahl and Shel Silverstein, Uncle Rock offers a musical variety show here with songs about recycling, acceptance of differences and the importance of shopping locally. Along with his band The Playthings, singer-songwriter Elizabeth Mitchell and cellist Jane Scarpantoni contribute to this "cross-generational shout-out". As Uncle Rock himself says, "The Big Picture is about how rock, folk, funk and thinking green can get together at the all-ages party."Let me tell you - The Big Picture was a big hit for our family.
Warren's deep, soulful baritone was reminiscent of Josh Turner and at times, it was a bit rough around the edges like Bruce Springsteen. The lyrics discuss serious issues such as pollution, contamination - even economics - but the tone of the album never becomes preachy or condescending. It remains surprisingly light and fun, with a feel-good grassroots approach.
The stand-out tunes for me were the folk story-song duet "There Is No Away" and community-centric "Stop At A Mom n' Pop". The former tells tales about what happens to trash once it is thrown away, which many children fail to understand. I love that it teaches them waste doesn't just disappear once you stick it in a trash can. The latter song promotes small business, urging kids to "break away from the chains and leave the strip malls behind", a lesson we could all learn from.
I also enjoyed "Shake It Off!", which samples the irresistible Gen-X tune "Dancin' With Myself", "Sneaky Snake" a character who reminded me of Dora's frenemy Swiper the Fox, and country-rock love song "You Look Good In The Rain". Nate's absolute favorite was the whimsical "Leave The Bees Be", where we could "bzz" right along to the beat. It's no surprise that this track, along with "My Friend Bigfoot", is currently receiving heavy airplay on Sirius-XM satellite radio.
Bottom line: I urge all of you to
BUY IT: You can purchase The Big Picture online at CD Baby or Amazon.com (ARV $13.97 or $9.99 for a digital download).
WIN IT: One lucky reader is going to win a copy of Uncle Rock's The Big Picture!
MAIN COURSE (MANDATORY ENTRY): Have a listen to some of the song clips and tell me which one you like best. Remember to please leave your email address in your comment if it isn't visible on your profile to prevent disqualification!
SUGAR ON TOP (BONUS ENTRIES): To maximize your chances of winning, you may do any or all of the following. Be sure to complete the above mandatory entry or your bonus entries will not count! Remember to leave one comment per entry.
1.) Follow my blog and/or subscribe via reader or email. If you already follow and/or subscribe, that counts! (1 entry each)
2.) Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this contest. You can do this daily! You may use the following tweet of come up with one of your own:
Celebrate Earth Day everyday with the eco-themed album "The Big Picture" by Uncle Rock @kris10chumley Ends 5/6 http://bit.ly/95jncv
Just leave a comment with your tweet link. (1 entry per day max)
3.) "Like" the Uncle Rock fan page on Facebook. (1 entry)
4.) Add my regular blog button and/or event button to your site and leave a comment with the link to where I can find it. (1 entry/each)
Giveaway will end on May 6, 2010 at 11:59pm EST. Open to U.S. only. Winners will be chosen via Random.org and will have 48 hours to respond to congratulatory email or prize will be forfeited and another winner will be chosen.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this album from Beth at Sugar Mountain P.R. in exchange for my candid review. I was in no other way compensated for this post. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are solely mine. Your experience may differ.