Wither kids’ music?
It’s a fair question to ask at this juncture, what with all the confusion in the under-age music segment, a rapidly changing world where rock stars are putting out kids music, kids are putting out adult rock and roll, and parents are left scratching their heads.
Even ifh a calendar listing — and no calendar listing is as comprehensive as the one below these humble scribblings, I might add — says “kids concert,” there is no longer a way to know if the show is for the toddlers, the tykes, the elementary schoolers or the tweens.
Where once there was the cloying Raffi, there is now the “serious music for kids” category of Randy Kaplan, the “I’m the new Pete Seeger” category of Zanes, the “Seseme Street smart” category of the still-popular Laurie Berkner and even the “heavy metal for kids” category dominated by Care Bears on Fire.
Hitting the sweet spot in this rapidly changing landscape is Suzy Shelton.
Readers of my column know that I have long had an affection for this particular toaster pastry. A music teacher at PS 107 in Park Slope, the singer that her students know as “Miss Suzy” has learned well the most-important skill when confronting a sea of moon-shaped faces: how to keep the youngest children in thrall.
This is not rocket science, this is Kids Music 101 — songs about “a little turtle who lives in a box,” chocolate cake, sleeping lions and, her big hit, going on a road trip.
The hardened souls mouldering inside most of today’s kids music critics may prefer the darker sounds churned out by those former rockers who couldn’t make it in the big-time record world, but every now and again, I find myself craving the simple guitar sound or the soothing lift of a lullaby.
Suzi Shelton will perform at 2 pm on Sunday, March 22 at Southpaw [125 Fifth Ave. at St. Johns Place in Park Slope, (718) 230-0236]. Tickets are $12.