Five Cent Piece is the new record (not just) for kids by Randy Kaplan. The c.d. features all-time classics like “Over the Rainbow”, “Kids” (from Bye Bye Birdie), & “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and original songs like “Shampoo Me”, “Mosquito Song” (you gotta flick-a-flick-a-flick-a-flick-a-flick-a-flick-a-flick, flick that mosquito in the m-m-m-m-mud), & “Roaches” (they’re tryin’ on your underwear, checkin’ out your grocery list, readin’ your copy of Metamorphosis) and many, many more! Kaplan's first children's c.d. has been praised and recommended by Newsweek, Time Out New York Kids, Cookie Magazine, Parenting Magazine, and others.
REVIEWS of FIVE CENT PIECE:
"Brooklyn’s Randy Kaplan hits the mark with his first release for kids, Five Cent Piece, which combines a gloriously wacky collection of oldies (and originals)."
-Susan Avery / NEW YORK MAGAZINE
"One of the most exciting newcomers to kids' music since Dan Zanes, Kaplan's debut is full of rollicking folk tunes."
-E.M. / PARENTING MAGAZINE
"With a bunch of groupies under the age of five… Kaplan, who released five CDs for grown ups before putting out his first kids’ album,… will have ears of all ages perking up.“
-Sophie Friedman / TIME OUT NEW YORK KIDS
"One of my favorite things about Five Cent Piece is that the CD itself looks like a giant nickel. But it sounds even better than it looks… Kaplan's original songs, including "Mosquito Song" and "Shampoo Me," are as imaginative and rambling as a pre-schooler, and musically brilliant. The folksy acoustic sound throughout Five Cent Piece is beautifully mixed. Again, this is an amazing album."
-Amy Davis / LOVELYDAVIS.blogspot.com
"Following up his stupendous “Perfect Gentleman” album with an album that’s for children and adults who still like their music fun and sing-along-able."
-J-Sin / SMOTHER.net
“Randy has one of the most interesting voices I've ever heard…there's also just a bit of grit in there, as if his vocal chords forgot to shake their shoes out after a day at the beach... "Over the Rainbow" is one of those songs like "Unchained Melody" or "O Holy Night", where I thought it would need a particularly virtuoso vocalist to pull it off, but Randy's version is one of the most beautiful I've ever heard. The earthy twang of his voice along with the gently rolling guitar may not be in perfect pitch or perfect intonation, and yet it is so "just right" in every deeply soulful sense that really matters. "Randy also does a very funny version of "You Can't Always Get What You Want", where he replaces the Stones' verses with another Arlo styled story about a kid who wants to play all day at the playground and doesn't want to get dressed into his pajamas after his bath and wants to eat nothing but ice cream and... well... you know how the chorus goes."
-Eric Herman / COOLTUNESFORKIDS.blogspot.com
"With his mixture of somewhat different arrangements, traditional bluegrass and folk instrumentation, affinity for storytelling, and wide choice of covers… Kaplan has fashioned one of the more unusual kids and family albums of the year, good for chilly winter afternoons or late summer days. Recommended."
-S.A. Shepherd / ZOOGLOBBLE.com
"Five Cent Piece combines twangy pop covers and Kaplan’s own endearing tunes in a 17-track set both four-year-olds and their parents can relate to. In Kaplan’s hands, the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” becomes a lesson in kiddie compromise, and the popular ditty “Roaches” slips in references to Kafka’s Metamorphosis… He doesn’t dumb it down for the kids… He just expects them to come along for the ride. And they do."
-Irene Bradish / TIME OUT NEW YORK KIDS
"Kaplan combines refreshingly straightforward takes on traditional folk songs like "Freight Train" with his own kid-friendly lyrics -- including the "Grape Juice Hesitation Blues," shorn of all illicit desire... The real surprise is the sensitivity of the arrangements, as on Bridget Law's plaintive violin solo for "Over the Rainbow."
-M.J. Wilson / WORDPRESS.com
"Five Cent Piece runs the musical gamut from Judy Garland to the Stones, from Woody Guthrie to Jonathan Richman… The bohemian bluegrass/Dixieland played by Kaplan and his extremely cohesive and talented band tie together the varying song sources into a unified package, so that Jonathan Richman's "I'm a Little Dinosaur", Elizabeth Cotton's "Freight Train", and "We're In the Same Boat, Brother" (made popular by Leadbelly), all sound like they were performed at the same sitting. Plus, his rendition of "Over the Rainbow" has to be THE sweetest you'll ever hear. His originals are wildly original, showcasing Kaplan's love of the narrated song… Kaplan's profile graces the giant nickel design on the CD itself, while several street signs and storefronts in the foldout will be recognizable to Brooklynites."
-Warren Truitt / KIDSMUSICTHATROCKS.blogspot.com
"Randy Kaplan once again reminds us of the difference between childish and childlike. His folk songs for children are honest and ring true, and retain a childlike wonder at the ways of the world. To remain in awe even in the dark times is a sign of someone on the right road... Kaplan covers some children's classics, and his originals have the same sense of wonder and directness of the best songs for kids. Never talking down to them, singing to them in a raspy voice as a friend, as if they are in on the story, not just waiting to be taught. Kaplan covers "You Cant Always Get What You Want," with altered lyrics of course, since kids want slightly different things than did Mick and Keith. Even "Over The Rainbow" is given new life here. "Mostly Yellow" and "Mosquito Song" are the standouts of the four original tracks, though let's have some props for "Roaches." Kids need to learn about Kafka as soon as possible if they are to make sense of the world today. Kaplan is as trustworthy a guide through childhood as you'll find, at least musically. Everyone needs this record."
-Mike Wood / MUSICEMISSIONS.com
Randy has been a music teacher at Beansprouts and Special Sprouts in Park Slope, Brooklyn since June 2004. In addition to his school shows, he performs for children twice weekly at Perch Cafe, also in Park Slope. He sings at many events in New York, including festivals, picnics, and parties. His diverse repertoire includes popular and obscure children’s music; old-time blues, folk, and jazz; showtunes (Kids, Time Warp, Doin' What Comes Natur'lly); adaptations of rock ‘n roll anthems (You Can't Always Get What You Want, Alice's Restaurant, Yellow Submarine); and, of course, original songs.
Randy performs (for grown-ups) at The Living Room in Manhattan and at other venues throughout the country. He is from Long Island, New York and has lived in Los Angeles, California and Lawrence, Kansas.