Stories can come from anywhere - from books, personal experiences and children’s imagination. Two of a Kind’s new CD Sing Me Your Story celebrates all these stories – and more – in their inimitable musical style. David and Jenny Heitler-Klevans have been performing and recording together as Two of a Kind for over twenty years. Their energetic, participatory music helps audiences of all ages feel that they can create music and that they can make a difference in the world. Their 8th CD, Sing Me Your Story comes your way January 24, 2012. Advance copies will be available at the concert.
Just as the best stories in life come from a variety of sources, so too do the songs on Sing Me Your Story. “Tell Me Your Story” is the thematic cornerstone of the CD. Written during a songwriting residency in which students composed original songs based on interviews with community members, the song explores the riches to be found in our family members and neighbors: “Tell me your story / I want to know / what life was like / so long ago.”
“One World, Many Stories” was written for a library summer reading program, featuring lyrics about book characters from many lands and accompanied by international instruments -bagpipes, sitar and didgeridoo - with an underlying South African groove. Jenny’s haunting hip-hop adventure “The Mysterious Drawer” and David’s Latin-tinged “Purple Glasses,” about a girl who has to get glasses and then finds purple ones, were both inspired by a “song idea contest” - fans sent in their suggestions for song subjects and new songs were born. “The World is Not Your Garbage Can,” a jazzy two-step about littering, features special guest Billy Jonas on recycled and re-used drums and percussion.
David and Jenny wrote all of the songs on the album except two: “It’s a Long Way”, a moving song by two-time Grammy Award winner Bill Harley about the USA’s history of immigration – “no matter when you came here and no matter how, we’re all in the same boat now.” Kim & Reggie Harris lend their powerful voices to this track, weaving “We Shall Overcome” into the final verse. They Might Be Giants’ quirky “Birdhouse in Your Soul” is actually performed by guest group Acoustic Blender, David & Jenny’s musical quartet for “grown-ups.”
David’s own story is represented in the closing song “Family Harmony” – celebrating the joy of singing together through the generations. David and Jenny’s own “two of a kind” - identical twin sons Ari & Jason, now teenagers - perform regularly with their parents and contributed vocals, French horn and trombone to this recording.
Two of a Kind’s previous seven recordings have won a total of twelve Parents’ Choice, Children’s Music Web and Kids Radio Mania awards. In addition, David & Jenny’s songs have been winners in the International Songwriting Competition and the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Publishers’ Weekly has called Two of a Kind “a one-of-a-kind find.”
What People are Saying about "Sing Me Your Story":
"Your CD...is absolutely AWESOME. The instrumentation is knock-out, the animal sounds, the songwriting, the singing and your last song made me cry, so ultra beautiful with feeling. Congratulations. I love the different melodies, the rock to rock-a billy, just all over fabulous."
- Jane Wattenberg, artist/photographer/children's book author
"A fine musical recording that everyone will enjoy."
- Tom Chapin
"Two of a Kind’s Sing Me Your Story CD is a delightful mix of good music, good works, and appearances by good friends like Billy Jonas and Kim & Reggie Harris. The album grew from the many songwriting and social projects keeping the duo busy.
The standout song for me is “Tell Me Your Story,” the result of an oral history project. Each of us is the result of our family history, and this song encourages asking questions about the lives of our elders."
- Kathy O'Connell, host of "Kids Corner" in a review in MetroKids
"Two of Kind have devoted their lives with intention and passion to music for children, and their commitment to that music and the children and families who hear it is reflected beautifully in their new recording Sing Me a Story. The songs are about real things – and important things – and make a statement about diversity and literacy and communication and community in a very elegant way. The wide variety of styles shows their wide-ranging interest and knowledge in all kinds of music and introduces listeners to all those different worlds. Most of all, though, it assumes the intelligence of the kids listening, and in that the recording, like the rest of their work, honors children. In my mind, there’s no higher praise than that."
- Bill Harley
"With diversity, animals, books and more as backdrop, Two of a Kind's original family recording "speaks" volumes. Engaging and fun, Sing Me Your Story captivates young...and older!"
- Stephanie P. Ledgin, MusicLine, http://ledgin.com
"A New CD Loaded With Songs Your Kids Will Love - From "Two Of A Kind"! This CD is fun filled, will get your kids hands clapping and their feet moving! Plus, the songs are loaded with information that will make them walk away feeling full of information! Your kids will love this music!"
- Revew on One Bored Mommy blog