Ripe from the success of his former CD entitled "Spinning Tails," "A Big Bowl of Musicroni" by Steve Pullara and His Cool Beans Band received "NAPPA Honors for 2005" in the "Children's Audio" category and is "A Parents' Choice Approved Award Winner" for 2005.
The National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA) is one of the country's most authoritative consumer-awards programs recognizing the best in children's and parenting resources (Audio, Books, AV, Software & Toys.) NAPPA coverage is targeted directly to parents and grandparents.
NAPPA's quote is; "Pullara invites us all to a party to learn about the Italian American culture. Laugh-out-loud songs and danceable arrangements will have you switching cultures pronto!" ---John Wood
The Parents' Choice Awards have a descriptive website where you can read their review of "A Big Bowl Of Musicroni" at: parentschoice.com.
Here's a few other endorsements from recognized family music reviewers and media program hosts:
A Big Bowl of Musicroni:
"Pullara has a discernable good time serving up a collection of silly, jaunty tunes focusing on his Italian-American heritage. A consistently fun, often rocking beat keeps things rolling along with solid playing of the harmonica, guitar and banjo (much of it by Pullara himself.) From "Lot'sa Cousins" about piling all the relatives into a bus (there are too many for a car) and Arrivederci Nonna," a swaying song about saying farewell to Grandma to "Bada Bing, Buon Natale" and "Don'ta Rocka Da Boat," kids will get a real taste---replete with lot of mentions of parmesan and mozzarella--of life in a boisterous Italian clan.
One warning: after hearing Pullara give a nod to traditional Italian music, Italian phrases (many Americanized) and copious references to all tasty dishes Italian, listeners will be ready for pizza, spaghetti or lasagna---ASAP! The CD sleeve features helpful and hilarious glossaries of words, phrases and types of macaroni---and cheese."
Publisher's Weekly, Excerpts
Sept. 12, 2005
A Big Bowl of Musicroni:
Pullara celebrates his Italian heritage and the memory of his Sicilian grandfather in this delicious concoction of 13 songs on this award-winning album (NAPPA Honors for 2005).
He gives a flawless performance on many of the background instruments, including guitar, mandolin, flute, jaw harp, banjo, harmonica, and tambourine. Jazz, swing, rock, zydeco, and ballads are blended with Italian-style musical motifs. Pullara uses a lot of Italian words and expressions in his songs, which are defined in the liner notes. In fact, in "Say It Right," his father admonishes him to pronounce the Italian words correctly. Other songs include "Lot'sa Cousins," "Five More Minootsa," "Arrivederci Nonna," "Pasta, Pasta, Pasta" "Hop Along Che Si Dice" (a Spaghetti Western), "Que Sera Sera," "Bada Bing, Buon Natale," and others. This is an album that the whole family can enjoy listening to together.
"The School Library Journal"
A Big Bowl of Musicroni:
"If "musicroni" be the food of love, play on. Singer and songwriter Steve Pullara takes a linguine and language approach in this lighthearted, heartfelt tribute to his Italian heritage. There's plenty of pasta, and much toothsome Italian vocabulary-including common culinary words-often relayed in the Sicilian dialect of Pullara's immigrant grandfather. Pullara judiciously sprinkles in some of his grandfather's Italian variations on English, too. His imagination ranges widely, with topics encompassing pizza, family, and dogs, among others. Besides the originals such as "Paesans in History," which reveals just where Yankee Doodle got his macaroni, the CD includes peppy Italian folk songs and the 1950s hit, "Que Sera Sera." Pullara captures the feeling of old Italian pop and folk music through his warm and inviting performance. Highly recommended."
"Booklist" of The American Library Association
Sept. 15, 2005
"Silly, friendly and relentlessly playful - Steve Pullara serves up Kids music with an unbridled enthusiasm that is impossible to contain! Even low-carb listeners will enjoy a big helping of "Pasta, Pasta, Pasta!"
Program Director, XMKiDS
XM Satellite Radio
Good Road Trip Listening...
The Paisan Spirit !
by Kathy O'Connell
contributing writer to MetroKids Sound Off! and host of the Peabody-award-winning Kid's Corner, weekdays 7-8pm on WXPN 88.5 FM.
"I love people who enjoy their heritage. In the tradition of Italian-American favorites such as Louis Prima and Lou Monte, Delaware Valley favorite Steve Pullara and his Cool Beans Band have created a delightful homage to Pullara's own Italian roots on A Big Bowl of Musicroni.
You don't have to be Italian to love this album, but sons and daughters of Italy may have a special fondness for songs such as "Pasta, Pasta, Pasta" and "Arriverderci Nonna."
"Paisans in History" segues from a West Wing-type drumbeat to a jazzy flute thing, and rewrites the tale of Yankee Doodle with an emphasis on the "macaroni" part of the fable. This CD is full of humor and produced with enormous pride and love.
The Cool Beans Band layers jazz, swing, rock, and ballads like the finest lasagna ever to come from Nonna's kitchen. Old favorites such as "Que Sera Sera" and "Eh Cumpari" get an update from Pullara and his Cool Beans bandmates.
Of special note on A Big Bowl of Musicroni is the gently beautiful Christmas song "Bada Bing, Buon Natale." The paisan (friend) spirit lives throughout this album, right down to the big bowl of spaghetti and sauce that illustrates the CD. Find all of Steve Pullara's music at www.coolbeansmusic.com"
MetroKids excerpt July 2005
"When I first met Steve, he immediately reminded me of the Zani's in Italy that would roll their wagons into the town square and put on a vaudeville-like show. They would then lead you in singing and laughing while everyone had great old time!"
Host & Producer
Nationally Syndicated "The Don Giovanni Show"
"Steve clearly "gets it" when it comes to creating music that simultaneously entertains kids and adults without alienating either audience. Moreover, the songs are well-recorded without excess production and hold up well after repeated listening!"
Host & Producer "The Saturday Light Brigade"
WRCT-FM, Pittsburgh, PA
"If you have children, or ever were one yourself, you must get Steve's music. "A Big Bowl of Musicroni" tastes really good for every age!"
Host & Producer
"Crazy College - Making Public Radio Giggle for Over a Fifth of a Century"
WDIY, WVUD, WHYY, Wilmington DE & Philadelphia PA
When I was a child, I enjoyed spending time with my grandpa, Giusseppe Pullara. My favorite memory of him was when he taught me how to play his guitar. During those lessons, I learned the style of Italian songs that he sang when he was a young boy in Sicily, Italy. I treasure those moments and his guitar which is pictured in these photos. And so, to honor him, my family, and an Italian-American culture that I grew to know and love, I've created this collection of music entitled: A Big Bowl of Musicroni.
This tasty little dish is served up as a treat for your ears. I've cooked it with a recipe rich in ethnic music, blended with a pinch of the Italian language and a dollop of my personal memories.
Feast your senses on this entrée of songs. You'll learn to speak a little Italian, and maybe even want to sample some of my favorite foods! You'll also meet my family of cousins, take a boat ride to Ellis Island, remember some famous Italians in history, hear a Spaghetti Western, and learn about my Christmas traditions.
Now, I invite you and your "Paesans" to join me and my "famiglia" as we share in A Big Bowl of Musicroni together. Mangia.
Once again, Steve Pullara and His Cool Beans Band cleverly intertwine their unique brand of musical whimsy. This time they do it with old-world charm to create this family dish called: A Big Bowl of Musicroni!
The recipe for this CD is a nutritious assortment of Italian-style songs with pinches of Steve's cultural heritage for flavor. Before long, everyone will be twirling their forks to Eh Cumpari and tapping their feet to Lot'sa Cousins and Piccolo the Dog. Come feast on the Pasta Pasta Pasta that Steve and his friends have served just for you. After Five More Minootsa you'll start asking for a second helping!
"A Big Bowl of Musicroni" is served "al dente!" That means it's cooked to perfection in Italian.