IT’S THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH! IT’S … RECESS MONKEY ‘IN TENTS’
“These kids’ songs are … awesome! … There are bands you can’t go wrong with, and this is one of them.” – USA Today
“RECESS MONKEY: If Seattle is the new bastion of kindie rockers, then the trio of elementary school teachers — Jack Forman, Daron Henry and Drew Holloway — are the city's breakout stars.” – Time magazine
“RECESS MONKEY, The Final Funktier: The clever trio kick it space-age style on a boppy set with songs like ‘Ukulalien’ and “Beat-Box-a-Robot’ that future astronauts will find irresistibly fun. ★★★★” – People magazine
“BEST KIDS’ CDs OF THE DECADE: This trio of Seattle teachers (who have even garnered Beatles comparisons) has become a force to be reckoned with in children's music.” – AOL ParentDish
Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and children of all ages! Celebrated independent children’s recording group Recess Monkey brings high flying thrills and spills straight from the big top to their circus-inspired, eighth studio CD, In Tents!
Right from the start, it’s apparent something big is going to happen on In Tents, as Recess Monkey enters the world of the all-American fantasy: running away to join the circus! Except, this time, through the trickery of the notorious Boregaard Noregaard, the circus joins Recess Monkey. From that point on, it’s a three-ring adventure with Recess Monkey: a fantastical celebration of popcorn, Tilt-a-Whirls, human cannonballs, dancing bears, and more.
Notes Recess Monkey’s Jack Forman, “The circus is such a perfect blend of comedy and drama, careful pre-planning and extemporaneous fun, high and low energy, all of which are elements that we work into our songs and shows. How have we not already done a circus album? We’ve talked about this album for years but finally found that we had assembled enough wacky ideas, catchy melodies and a narrative to bring it to fruition. In fact, we actually conceived the album as the soundtrack to a story that we wrote, inspired by Seattle’s magical Teatro ZinZanni. In Tents has emerged both as a circus story-inspired album and as a series of kid-oriented, circus spectacular shows in which we join forces with Teatro ZinZinni in their historic spiegeltent. Pretty amazing!”
With enthusiasm reminiscent of the “fifth Beatle,” Billy Preston, Dean Jones, of the family-friendly band Dog on Fleas, joins Recess Monkey as unofficial fourth band-mate on In Tents, lending his irresistible keyboard rhythms, roving trombone slide, and spirited singing to the music, while also serving as the album’s producer. Other guest artists include Lunch Money, Sugar Free Allstars, and The Pop Ups. Recess Monkey’s longtime visual collaborator, Kevin Fry, takes center-stage with masterful photography in the 32-page story booklet that accompanies each CD. This engaging booklet also showcases artwork by acclaimed children’s author/illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka.
The members of Recess Monkey met while teaching at the same Seattle school and released their debut CD, Welcome to Recess Monkey Town, in 2005, followed by another popular (and zoologically correct) hit, Aminal House, in 2006. The teachers — Jack Forman, Daron Henry, and Drew Holloway — made history with their next release, Wonderstuff, the first double CD children’s album. As with Wonderstuff which was produced from material generated at a kids’ summer camp workshop, 2008’s Tabby Road, 2009’s Field Trip, 2010’s The Final Funktier, and 2011’s FLYING! each came from real life children’s experiences.
Like a kids’ Monty Python’s Flying Circus for the new millennium, In Tents takes Recess Monkey’s “undeniably hip, yet also kid-accessible” music and humor to new heights, displaying the band at the top of their form when it comes to clever. Who else could take a circus word like “spectacle” and create a song about a kid’s rediscovery of the world after being fitted for glasses? A phrase like “house of cards” turns into a celebration of one family’s favorite pastime, with lyrics like “Momma is a card shark when she plays Go Fish” and “we don’t walk around, we shuffle.” Further celebrating the eccentric, in “Odditorium” big sister collects lint from the dryer to make pillows, and Mom puts mustard on everything. All in all, there are fifteen songs guaranteed to amaze, astound, and entertain with Recess Monkey’s own blend of zany humor and adventure-loving hijinks.
Kids’ music authority Stefan Shepherd (Zooglobble) declared, ““Dan Zanes may be the godfather; They Might Be Giants, the legitimizer; and Laurie Berkner, Ralph Covert, and Justin Roberts the genre’s superstars. But Recess Monkey is the heart of kids’ music today.”
Six Recess Monkey songs have reached #1 on Sirius/XM’s Kids Place Live channel. Recess Monkey’s FLYING!, released in 2011, was highlighted in People magazine, voted #1 album of the year in the 2011 Fids & Kamily Awards, showcased in the 2011 Parents’ Choice® holiday gift guide, and honored with inclusion in more than a dozen “Best of the Year” lists, including those of The Washington Post, Parents Magazine, Common Sense Media, Kidsmusic.About.com, Cool Mom Picks, MetroKids magazine, and more.
In its “Best of the Year” review, The Washington Post enthused, “We had to mention these superheroes. They’re back! … If you liked their rock-and-roll in the past, you’ll like it again.” From a plethora of remarkable Seattle-based “kindie” musicians, Seattle Magazine chose to honor Recess Monkey in 2010 with its “Best Local Kids’ Music” accolade. The band’s 2010 release, The Final Funktier, was highlighted on CBS-TV’s The Early Show and in People magazine, was featured in more than a dozen “Best of 2010” lists, was a KIWI magazine 2010 “holiday pick” and was selected for inclusion in ParentsConnect’s holiday gift guide.
Recess Monkey’s 2009 Release, Field Trip, was named to the American Library Association’s Notable Children’s Recording List, and the album was included among USA Today’s “Favorite Releases of 2009” and AOL ParentDish’s “Top 25 Albums for Kids.” Time Out NY Kids declared Field Trip to be the #1 CD of the year, calling it “pure genius.” Field Trip was on more than a dozen “Best of 2009” lists.
Mothering magazine wrote that Recess Monkey’s 2008 release, Tabby Road, “has a Beatles-esque feel … You might just enjoy these songs about sleepovers, sandboxes, and sugar goblins as much as your kids do.” Tabby Road was a Parenting magazine “Our Fave This Month,” a KIWI magazine “Best of 2008,” and was one of the Christian Science Monitor’s “Top Stocking Stuffers.”
AOL ParentDish included the 2007 release Wonderstuff among its “Best Kids’ CDs of the Decade.” Stefan Shepherd declared Wonderstuff to be “the best pop-rock musical since ‘Tommy.’” NPR featured Wonderstuff’ in its list of “10 Best Kids’ Albums for 2007.” Kathy O’Connell, host of Kids Corner on Philadelphia’s WXPN-FM, chose Wonderstuff as one of her favorite albums of the year during a guest appearance on NPR’s Morning Edition, calling it “A brilliant, multilayered concept album of stories and songs heavily influenced by '60s rock.”
IN TENTS SONG LIST: In Tents, Popcorn, Sit and Spin, Human Cannonball, Odditorium, Bouncy House, Carousel, Twins, I Could See (Magically), House of Cards, Edwina Mae, The Dancin’ Bear, Lemonade, Crystal Ball, Show on the Road.