Sperling, mother to four-year-old Henry, said when The Monkey Bunch performs for children, they’re teaching about how they can make a difference through recycling, for instance.
"I sing about turning off your car and not letting it idle. It’s their planet and they can make a difference," she said. "Too often, kids are spoken down to and kids are just short people who deserve great music and lyrics. People want (children’s music) to be saccharine and sweet and not muddle their minds and we just don’t think so.
"It’s their planet and we’ve messed it up and they’re the ones who have to clean it up and we (sing about that) in a way that’s fun," she added. "We’re not preaching. And that goes for grown ups, too. If you want someone to think about something and be moved by it, it’s got to be fun and make them laugh."
"A wonderfully musical kids album full of wit and charm without any of that ‘goofy’ aftertaste." (Ron Sexsmith)
Sperling, a long-time actor and comedian whose voice can be heard on the upcoming Teletoon show Crash Canyon, and bassist LaFoy, who has performed with K-OS, Jann Arden, The Barenaked Ladies and Colin James, are joined in The Monkey Bunch by guitarist Graham Powell (Arden, The Supers) and drummer Lyle Molzan (Arden).
While Sperling and LaFoy thought their initial demo would be a one- time thing, they started selling CDs and playing live. Then they kept being asked to play at festivals and benefits.
"For me, it’s so special. I never performed live music before. It’s so different (from comedy) and every kid wants to grow up and become a rock star," Sperling said. "You don’t have to be cool. … Kids want to see goofy and fun so it’s perfect. You get to be as goofy as you want."
Last year, The Monkey Bunch were nominated for a JUNO Award for Children’s Album of the Year, following on the heels of recognition at the Independent Music Awards, International Independent Music Awards, International Songwriting Competition and Great American Songwriting Competition.
Those who come to the group’s show at Brock – the concert’s intended for children up to about age eight – should be prepared to dance and shake a leg.
"Whenever we’re in places like St. Catharines, people don’t act like they do in Toronto. They don’t sit there with folded arms," Sperling said, laughing.
"This is dancing and going crazy. It’s a rock concert. I always tell kids, when you have a babysitter, this is what you’re parents are doing!"
Written by Lori Littleton with permission from our media sponsor Niagara Magazine. www.niagaramag.ca
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