The main instrument is YOU when you sing and bang along with Billy Jonas' new "family/young audience" CD "What Kind of Cat Are You?!" (His 'adult/general audience' CD's are listed separately). Billy Jonas' fans will make music in all new ways as they enjoy this award-winning (2002 Parent's Choice Gold Star) collection of 13 interactive songs. Like a virtual song leader at a lively campfire, "What Kind of Cat Are You?!" encourages everyone to use their own voices and any handy item to "sing, dance, snap, tap, clap their hands and join the band!"
As with all of Billy's music, the main instrument for "What Kind of Cat Are You?!" is the audience: call-and-response lyrics, open-ended questions, and quiet instructions that inspire movement and imaginative thought. Nearly every song on "What Kind of Cat Are You?!" was inspired by and developed in performances with live audiences.
"What Kind of Cat Are You?!" features an amazing amalgam of musical styles, sure to pique the interest of everyone in the family. Each piece employs a mix of traditional instruments and lively "Industrial Re-percussion" (homemade instruments fashioned from found and recyclable objects). Children's voices provide just the right backdrop for singing along.
"What Kind of Cat Are You?!" engages listeners on many levels - physically, musically and intellectually. The songs simultaneously invite the listener to dance, do hand motions (learned in concert, or from Billy's video "Bangin' & Sangin'!" or made up by you!), sing the lyrics, answer musical riddles, or bang on a drum or box top. The combination of music, rhythm, and participatory lyrics creates an irresistible oscillation in the mind and body.
Billy's unusual outlook on life comes to the forefront on each song, where listeners can get involved in the increasingly hilarious self-exploratory answers to the question "What Kind of Cat Are You?!" "Aliens in My Lungs" makes a convincing case for the extraterrestrial experience of anyone invaded by a bad cold. The slurpy deliciousness of "Watermelon" is completely conveyed by Billy's juicy sound effects. When "Old St. Helen" explodes, people find "pieces of the mountain" in their noses, and feel the "rumble" as they become one with the mountain. A new rendition of the happy classic hit "Lean on Me" will be the perfect sing-along to share among friends, as they "stomp, clap, stomp stomp clap" along with hundreds of people making the catchy beat. Most of the songs are energetic, but the imaginative story-song "Nine-Foot Dragon" encourages quiet listening.
At the end of the recording, Billy invites everyone to make a joyful noise with friends and family - using whatever instruments are handy - whether it be "a bucket or a garbage can." "These are powerful tools for concouraging creativity and creating connectedness among people," as Billy says.
Billy Jonas is based in Asheville, North Carolina. He won national acclaim with his first "adult/general audience" album "Life So Far." A series of live performances with hundreds of children led to the release of the music video "Bangin' and Sangin'" which won a Parents' Choice Gold Award. Billy was previously a member of the critically acclaimed funky folk duo The Billys, which released two recordings, "The Billys" and "The Time Has Come."
Since 1987 Billy has been featured at prestigious festivals and venues nationwide (see selected venues below), and has shared stages with some of the world's favorite acoustic artists, including Patti Larkin, Ani DiFranco, David Wilcox, Richard Thompson, and Pete Seeger.
Billy Jonas' performances will inspire, inform, and enlighten. His work is born out of respect and reverence, and seeks to honor the creative energy in everyone. Billy provides performances and workshops for adult audiences and/or family audiences. Billy is accompanied by a full ensemble of singers and re-percussionists at larger venues.
SELECTED VENUES: Philadelphia Folk Festival Merle Watson Festival Kerrville Folk Festival The Kennedy Center The Bottom Line Club Passim Bele Chere Lake Eden Arts Festival Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Krannert Center for the Performing Arts Philadelphia Museum of Art Cincinnati Playhouse In the Park " . . . exquisite craft!" - Sing Out! ". . . a standout." - Chicago Reader ". . . wild-winded word MAGIC!" - Dirty Linen ". . . you can't help but sing along!" - Performing Songwriter Magazine