** What people are saying about the Paws Claws Scales & Tales CD **
"Monty's songwriting shines... Fabulous child-centered songs for home and school!"
- Fred Koch, Chicago Parent magazine, www.BestChildrensMusic.com
"Purrfect music for critters of all sizes!"
- Jeff Brown of "We Like Kids!", KTOO-FM, Juneau, Alaska
"Monty Harper is a masterful musical storyteller who makes great songwriting look easy."
- Will Hale of "The Family Groove" Kids Internet Radio Show, www.willhale.com
** As heard on XM Kids! **
"Paws Claws Scales and Tales (Reprise)" and "I Go Bananas" can be heard on XMKids! XM Satellite Radio, channel 116, or DirecTV channel
** Reviews **
Monty Harper has been a professional songwriter and performer for more than a decade. He performs for libraries, schools and festivals around the midwest, and works as a "songwriter for hire", churning out ditties for children about reading, nutrition, and other important topics. His Paws, Claws, Scales and Tales CD was inspired by the CSLP theme, and includes 10 songs about animals, pets and reading, plus two bonus songs and lots of extras to access on the computer. Limiting the focus to animals, pets and reading did not limit Harper's ability to write some fantastic songs. Frank Lloyd Wright once said, "Man built most nobly when limitations were at their greatest." He was right.
The title track is evidence of Harper's "songwriter for hire" chops. He packs an impressive number of animal-book references into this upbeat, jingly, 3-minute pop song. On other tracks, he drops more animal-book references, including Loveable Lyle (the Crocodile), Walter the Farting Dog, and Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher. Harper has mastered the art of pop-song writing, and he has a youthful, sweet tenor voice to deliver the songs beautifully.
Excerpted from The Lovely Mrs. Davis Tells You What to Think, 8/2/06
CD is "Dance on the Bed Good"
What do kids like almost as much as animals? Songs about them, of course, and Monty Harper's CD Paws, Claws, Scales & Tales delivers just that. The CD's music ties in to the Metropolitan Library's summer reading program of the same name. It's a collaborative program that is found in 36 states, including Oklahoma (visit CSLPReads.org for more information).
As a mom, I enjoyed the music's diversity. My children (ages 2 and 4) loved the sometimes-silly lyrics and the fun rhythms that were easy to dance to. Spencer (age 4) proclaimed it "dance on the bed good." All of the animals that kids find irresistible are represented - from dragons and frogs to cats and dogs. The songs are so catchy, you may find yourself humming them later - like we did.
Stillwater-based Harper is the singer, songwriter, and primary performer on the CD, and Harper can frequently be found at local libraries and venues performing his child-friendly music. Children of all ages and their parents can appreciate the smart lyrics that wind in references to books anod other songs - including the Beatles. A great accompaniment is the wealth of information available online (MontyHarper.com), including a list of book titles referenced in the songs, and background information on each. From the site, you can also sign up for a monthly email newsletter and free song downloads.
- Mari Farthing, MetroFamily Magazine, Oklahoma City, OK, July 2006
Monty Harper’s Best Yet
Family music is full of regional favorites who make the rounds of schools. One such performer is Monty Harper, from Stillwater, Oklahoma. This singer/songwriter emphasizes reading in his music. Paws Claws Scales & Tales is his latest family-friendly CD, and despite its Magical Mystery Tour cover, this is Harper’s Sgt. Pepper; it’s his best work.
The title track celebrates some of fiction’s favorite animals with the point that “it’s all about a bond of love.” “A Pet Like That” speculates, “Wouldn’t it be cool to own a pet like…” Mr. Popper’s penguins or Dr. Seuss’ cat.
The standout for grownups is the Beatles’ parody “Eleanor Gerbil” (“Oooh, look at all that chewed-up cardboard”). In the world of kids’ music, there are lots of guys with guitars, but Monty Harper is one worth finding at www.montyharper. com or www.ReadingSongs.com
Kathy O'Connell, MetroKids, Philadelphia, PA, July 2006
Review: Paws Claws Scales and Tales - Monty Harper
"If you're a children's librarian, I highly recommend Paws Claws Scales and Tales, even if you're not participating in the CSLP. If you're not a children's librarian, I still think you and your kids will like the album, which is fun musically and sophisticated lyrically. Recommended."
Excerpted from Zooglobble, 5/24/06
** Press Release **
Paws Claws Scales & Tales CD
Provides Songtrack for Summer Readers
5/15/06. Stillwater, OK. Award-winning children's songwriter Monty Harper has released a new CD just in time for summer readers. The Paws Claws Scales & Tales CD was inspired by the Collaborative Summer Library Program (www.cslpreads.org) theme which will be used for youth reading programs this summer in thirty six states, including Oklahoma.
The CD has gone out to dozens of libraries across the nation, and the early response has been very positive. One children's librarian already using the CD to promote her summer program is Sandy Shropshire of Moore, OK. "It's full of unforgettable songs about pets and animals and kids!" she says. "I find myself humming and singing the new material from Paws, Claws, Scales & Tales throughout my workday."
"It's all about a bond of love..." sings Harper in the title song and reprise that bookend the ten original pet songs on the CD. While some songs, such as "Dog Books" and "A Pet Like That" feature well-known pets from children's literature, others introduce new characters such as "Eleanor Gerbil," "Fred's Frog, Flippy," and Lucinda, the leucistic alligator.
Harper performed most of the instrument and vocal parts on the CD himself, but he also enlisted help from friends and family. Harper's daughter, Evalyn (four years old at the time), co-wrote and sings on "Hummingbird Hum" and his wife, Lisa, lends her voice to "Villa Villekulla Hula." Two songs were recorded at Woodside Avenue Music Productions in Evanston, IL, and feature guest musicians Steve Rashid, Jim Cox, and Don Stiernberg: "I Took My Dragon For a Walk" and "The Cat Came Back." The latter is a rewritten classic with a new twist ending, featuring Don Stiernberg's world-renowned jazz mandolin.
The CD is rounded out with two danceable bonus songs: "Gimme Vegetables" and "I Go Bananas," and it contains many extra features accessible by computer, such as podcast episodes detailing Harper's creative process. More information is at www.ReadingSongs.com.
Based in Stillwater, OK, Monty Harper performs year-round at schools and libraries throughout the region. This summer will be his sixteenth to participate in the Oklahoma summer reading programs. He will perform songs from the Paws Claws Scales & Tales CD for 26 library audiences this June and July.
Harper's songs and recordings have received many accolades including a Parents' Choice Approved Award, a NAPPA Honors Award, Children's Music Web Awards, an iParenting Media Award, a Kids Radio Mania Family Favorite Award, and two Unisong International Songwriting Competition awards. More information on Harper and his music is at www.montyharper.com.