"Allie and Gus" is a musical adventure for children. The CD has received two ASCAPPlus awards for children's music. It follows Allie the alligator and Gus the pegasus on a delightful journey where they meet many different animal characters. Parents have described the original songs as "a breath of fresh air" in their kid's music collection. "Allie and Gus" also includes a full color 24 page CD booklet with original paintings of all the animal characters that Allie and Gus meet as well as all the song lyrics and dialogue.
Gina Howell has been singing in Los Angeles for the last 20 years with the L.A. Master Chorale, L.A. Philharmonic, and L.A. Opera. While in college, Gina toured in several summer stock musical theater productions with stars including Jim Dale (voice on the Harry Potter tapes) Pam Dawber, Bob Hope, and Ben Vereen. She's been composing since the age of 11. When her son, Benjamin, entered preschool, she thought it would be fun to write a song to sing with his class. "I am a Crocodile" was born, and the children had so much fun swimming down the river Nile and being crocodiles that Gina decided to write more songs for children.
The creation of "Allie and Gus" has been an awesome journey filled with wonder and love. Gina's children, Benjamin and Eleanor, have inspired her creativity, and they have been her most important music critics!
We recorded all the CD live at CalArts in Valencia, California. Here are the instruments and the players:
Voice, guitar, harmonium - Gina Howell
Drums - Mickey Howell, Gina's husband
Keyboard - Dan Houze
Flute - Wendy Hall
Clarinet - Taby Brown
Saxophone - Taby again!
Cello - Gideon Park
Guitar - Trine Harvuot
Autoharp - Johnna Morton
Rainstick/magic box - Jennifer MacPherson
Vocal trio - Jody Golightly, George Sterne & Steven Harms
Sound engineers - Gordon Kurowski & John Hawk
Mastered by Joe Steiner, Velvet Grape, L.A., CA
Produced at NewSong Media, Anaheim, CA
Website design for benellie.com, Art Freeman
Art Layout was done by renowned album cover designer Paul Whitehead (Genesis covers etc.) Five different artists (Gina Martinez, Polly Wright, Sang Hong, Paul Patterson, and Kitty Freeman) contributed lovely paintings of the animal characters. These pictures, as well as all song lyrics and dialogue, are included in a beautiful 24 page booklet for you and your children to enjoy as you listen to the cd.
We had so much fun making this album! Here's hoping that you and your children will "Hop on, hold tight, and let your dreams take flight" as you accompany Allie and Gus on this magical, musical journey!