Though this CD is listed as a childrens' CD, people of all ages are enjoying its comedy, and wide variety of musical styles! It's a must have, and taking the nation by storm.
The CD setting is in Africa. The overall theme of this story is; the main characters-Bean Head, Diaper Britches, Uncle Gackel, and Tour Guide "Just Jim" are on a journey across Africa. During the course of this journey, the main characters meet a host of interesting and comical animal and human characters. The CD consist of spoken dialog between the various characters, and there are intermittent songs. There is education, comedy, wonderful upbeat FUN songs with great melodies.
In 2001 the composer Keith Henry began reevaluating his musical career, when he came up with the concept for a children's CD. "I was looking for a new musical direction, something that would be marketable, and fun at the same time. I thought to myself...why not a children's CD? There is definitely a market for such a product, and it seemed like this would be tons-o-fun! This was my primary objective during the recording of this CD, for myself, and any musicians that played, or voice character actors, to try to convey fun, and excitement, with hope that the listeners would pick up on the excitement that went into the making of this CD." Keith has also started a publishing co-Nytola Music, ASCAP (www.nytolamusic.com).
Keith wrote the storyline, composed all the songs and lyrics, did all the recording, sang and played all instruments on all the songs (except where noted). "When I first began this project, I had no idea a children's CD would become as involved as it turned out to be. This project turned out to be very time consuming, but it was well worth it, I enjoyed every minute of this production."
During the writing of this story and songs, it is evident that Keith gathered from a vast library of life long musical influences. In the story the listener will enter into an imaginary world of fun, suspense, education, and comedy. Musically Keith has presented the listener with a wonderful variety from classical orchestral compositions to rock, reggae/calypso style to techno/dance. "Most of my family could have easily been comedians, or entertainers. Also, as a teenager I had the influence of Monty Python, so this is probably where the comedy aspects are coming from." Several listeners have suggested recognizing musical influence from Frank Zappa. "True ... like on the song Clifford's (the crocodile) Song. Although I didn't write that song trying to emulate a Frank Zappa tune, it just happened to turn out sounding like something Frank would have written. I take that as a great compliment."
Keith contracted the assistance of his two nephews for two of the main characters in this story-Deron Livingston (age seven) plays Bean Head, and Blake Livingston (age five) plays Diaper Britches. "Deron, and Blake did a superb job performing their dialog parts. In my opinion Deron, and Blake are the stars of this CD, and children listeners seem to relate well to the character voices of Deron, and Blake!" Keith himself does most of the other character voices. "There is a wonderful story behind how the main characters came to be. Bean Head and Diaper Britches are nicknames I had given my nephews. The name Uncle Gackel was given to me as a result of; I was teaching my youngest nephew (Blake) how to pronounce the names of fish from a saltwater fish identification chart. Blake, at that time was perhaps age three. When I got to the fish called mackerel, Blake would say gackel. I would say no ...mackerel, and Blake kept repeating gackel. So from that day on, my nickname was Uncle Gackel."
Keith is really big on education, and suggest starting at an early age teaching children. He even recommends starting as early as when the child is in the womb, by reading or reciting math tables out loud, playing classical music, and so on. "Hey, this has been a common practice for years in Asia and Japan. Parents to be, would read aloud to the infant in the mother's womb." In the pre-production stages of this CD project, several critiques, and comrades (in the music industry) of Keith's suggested, perhaps you're getting too technical (using big words) for little kids, keep it simple. Keith's reply is; "children in this day and time are a lot smarter than people give them credit for, and can learn very quickly. All we have to do is feed them the knowledge, and information, and the kids are fully capable of comprehending."