"Chicago-based folk-pop children's recording artist Justin Roberts, a sophisticated, James Taylor-ish singer-songwriter, is among the best craftsmen of sweet and silly kid tunes out there, making irresistible music out of small, well-observed moments from the lives of children and parents.
In this new CD, a kid goes a comic extra mile when he cleans his room in "Pick Up Pears"; the title track pays tribute to reluctant nappers; and a dad and child share firefly magic in "Dad Caught Stars." It's great stuff, with terrific instrumentals and a high parent-pleasing factor that makes repeat play a treat, not a trial."
- Los Angeles Times
Award-winning family recording artist, Justin Roberts's affinity for music was identified at a very young age by a concerned preschool teacher. It seemed that Justin was spending more time with the record player than with his fellow classmates. Justin's relationship with stereo equipment continues to this day.
The music all began at a Montessori preschool where Justin worked as a music teacher by day while performing at night with his indie-folk group Pimentos for Gus. At first he was singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider," Sam Cooke, and Irish jigs with the kids, but soon he was writing his own children's songs for the classroom. The kids loved the songs, but the teachers began laughing and singing along too.
Justin decided to make a home recording of some of these songs as a Christmas gift for several friends. One of those recipients was Liam Davis, college pal and Chicago producer. Liam suggested they record the songs professionally and release a CD.
With no advertising and a shoestring marketing budget, "Great Big Sun" began making its way across the country. Along the way, it received rave reviews from Disney's Family Fun Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and was named "Best Music Gift of the Year" by Sesame Street Parents Magazine. Orders started pouring in from all over and shows began to sell out.
So, in the fall of 2000 Justin and Liam returned to the studio to work on the much requested follow-up to Great Big Sun.
Released in March of 2001, "Yellow Bus" turned out to be an even bigger hit than "Great Big Sun." Featuring songs about car rides, whales, and cookies, it continues to receive accolades from children, parents, and critics alike. At the end of the year, it received a 2001 Parents' Choice Gold Award and was named one of the "Top 10 Children's Albums of the Year" by Amazon.com.
Justin continues to perform for families across the nation and is currently touring in support of his newest CD "Not Naptime." The Los Angeles Times may have summed up Justin's music best in its 2001 year-end recordings round-up: "his multilayered lyrics take aim at hearts, minds, and funnybones and hit the target every time."