For ages: any age can groove to Alastair’s tunes
Topics Covered: social justice, racism, white supremacy, feminism, education, self-expression, identity, freedom, and self-acceptance.
Summary: Today we share an artist whose quirky, thoughtful lyrics spice up the children’s music that he makes. The well-established genre is refreshed by Alastair Moock’s rambunctious, rootsy rhythms. While Moock is working up a new album titled “Be A Pain” and preparing for shows at Club Passim in Cambridge, MA on November 16th, a performance of “Just Kidding: Alastair Moock” at New York City’s Symphony Space, as well as a Holiday Family show at Beverly, MA’s Cabot Theater, we wanted to highlight the awesome work that he has been putting out consistently since he began performing music for children over 10 years ago!
Moock started his career performing his brand of Americana for adults in 1995, but with the birth of twin daughters in 2006, he turned to music that families could listen and sing to together. A standout track from his 2009 children’s album A Cow Says Moock is “Two Mommies” a catchy ode to different family structures. After each example is sung (two mommies, two daddies etc.) Moock and his chorus of adults and children validate the family by adding “and that’s all right with me”. The easy rocking beat and repeated lyrics make this a song that even toddlers can understand and sing along to.
When Moock’s daughter Clio was diagnosed with leukemia at age 5, he wrote “When I Get Bald” a goofy, good-natured take on an especially challenging subject. The heartwarming video for the song features Alastair, his daughter Clio and band mates in a barber shop, and while they begin the video with full heads of hair, the same cannot be said when the song is done! Normalizing and validating, the song is a tribute to all the silly things he will do when he’s bald!
“Make It Great” off of 2016’s eponymous album is a tongue-in-cheek acoustic track where Alastair takes phrases often heard about how great America is which follows a very familiar structure, all the way up until the dry delivery of the final line of the verse. He sneaks in the truth after having lulled the listener with propoganda, and reminds listeners that what survives of “history” is a narrow story with many very important players are forcibly left out of the narrative. Moock’s style of Americana with a southern twang assists him in this delivery, and plays with the lowest common denominator of things identified as “American” and “southern” (both huge concepts) and challenges preconceived notions about genre and geographic prejudice.
We cannot recommend Alistair’s music enough, and if his videos are anything to go on, you need to see him the next time he’s in your neck of the woods! Or, better yet, invite him to come to you, and learn about hosting a house concert!
About the Artist:
Alastair Moock is a 2014 GRAMMY Nominee, two-time Parents’ Choice Gold Medal Winner, recipient of the ASCAP Joe Raposo Children’s Music Award, and has twice been voted by the Fids & Kamily Industry Critics’ Poll among the Top 3 Albums of the Year. Long one of Boston’s premier folk artists, Alastair turned his attention to family music after the birth of his twins in 2006. The New York Times calls him “a Tom Waits for kids” and The Boston Globe declares that, “in the footsteps of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, Alastair Moock makes real kids music that parents can actually enjoy.” Moock and Friends’ live shows are rowdy, rootsy, singin’ and dancin’ fun for the whole family!