Popular children's songwriter and performer Danna Banana (aka Dan Cohen) will be entertaining children again with his new CD entitled Daddy-O! A dad himself, Danna Banana has written a collection of songs to honor that special guy in the family.
"I wanted to follow up on my first CD, Bananappeal, that people enjoyed so much," Danna Banana says. "It was only afterwards that I realized half the songs referred to some dad thing or other." While he didn't set out to write a CD full of music related to fathers, he did notice that there wasn't much material for families that dealt with this subject. Danna Banana adds, "There are lots of songs about cats, dogs and dinosaurs, but not a lot of material about what dads deal with day after day. After day. I'm out to change that."
Bananappeal received critical acclaim and was touted as "raucous, " and "clever" filled with songs that "engage child and parent alike" (The Record, 2002). A former member of BMI's renowned Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop in New York, he also studied at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts before graduating from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with a degree in vocal performance. As Daniel Linden Cohen, he traveled the country performing as a baritone with leading American companies such as Eugene Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, San Francisco's Pocket Opera and Sacramento Symphony, among others. But in 2000, Cohen began to notice that children's music was often seen as a genre "for kids only." Since parents accompany their children to concerts and spend many hours sharing the listening experience, Cohen wanted to create music that parents would find enjoyable too. Danna Banana received the Grand Prize in the children's category of the prestigious John Lennon Songwriting Contest in 2001for his song "What Would You Do?" off of Bananappeal.
A few special guests make appearances on Daddy-O! including Hal Linden, best known for his TV star role on Barney Miller. Linden lent his efforts to the first tune on the CD entitled Dugak. Also lending vocal talent to the recording is Korliss Uecker, a soprano with the Metropolitan Opera. Uecker appears on the tracks Daddy-O, Can You Kazoo? and as the mother on Dugak.
Songs about fathers include Jungle Gym, with its comic 'What Do I Look Like, A Jungle Gym?' refrain, in which an old-fashioned blues rock scorcher forms the backbone of a song about Dad coming home from work and his kids pouncing on him. 'I Snuck Up On Daddy' details the saga of a kid sneaking up when Daddy raids the fridge. And there's the title cut, an all-out song of praise for Dads.
Danna Banana looks no farther than his own front door for ideas. He is the father of three children, two boys and a girl, and most of his insights come directly from his dealings with his children, the oldest of whom is 10. "They're not just my inspiration. They're my back-up singers!" continues Danna Banana, who features a lot of young local talent from his home in Rockland County, NY, on his record. "Kids are always honest, and you get some great stuff. Their spontaneity really helps the record." His musicians, too, are locals who have played around with a wide range of talents, from Gato Barbieri to Son House. Last but not least, Danna Banana is a former opera singer whohas worked on concert and opera stages from California to Iowa to New Hampshire.
For press information visit Danna Banana's online pressroom at www.dannabanana.com or, contact Evelyn Leong, at 845/358-3920 x 22, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Daddy-O and Bananappeal are available on CD and cassette at Amazon.com, Cdbaby.com or by calling 1-866-947-6035.