Beanstalk Jack, a musical retelling of the classic tale of “Jack and the Beanstalk” adapted as a folk-rock opera for today’s families is one of our new favorite cd’s.
“Paper Canoe Company creates music and stories that make kids feel like grownups, and grownups feel like kids.”
The music is uplifting and fun and of course makes you want to dance along which is always so important with a children’s album! Beanstalk Jack tells the story of “Jack and the Beanstalk” with the addition of a refreshing girl-meets-boy twist, a tribute to the spirit of optimism, and more than a hint of youthful rebellion.
Can I tell you when I found out that Tami Stronach , known to millions for her haunting performance as The Childlike Empress in the iconic 1984 film, The Neverending Story is the Paper Canoe co-founder, I was so excited. That movie was amazing to me when I was a child and watching it as an adult the nostalgia remains. I LOVE that movie and I remember that character so vividly that Tami Stronach played and now my kids will get to know and love her through music. Beanstalk Jack references the American tradition of folk music that embraces a powerful message, and then shifts to include ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s-style pop and rock, seasoned with a laid-back, bluesy element.
Tami Stronach says, “We know the rules. The rules are you aren’t supposed to make albums anymore. Albums aren’t supposed be narrative. Kids’ music is supposed to be funny, sweet, cute, and musically ground floor. We wanted to break all those rules. We made a full-length, A-side B-side concept album that tells an amazing story. We wanted it to be great music first, great storytelling second, and third, to let families connect to nostalgic American musical traditions from the folksy protest music of Woody Guthrie through to the classic rock/pop sounds of the ‘80s.”
Meet the characters of the album: Jack, our intrepid hero, armed with his six-string guitar, climbs the beanstalk to seek his fortune. At the summit of the towering vegetation, Jack meets the giant’s daughter, Harmony, a bright star just waiting for the right band to come along. He steals Harmony’s heart, and they run away to follow their dreams and make music together, leaving the greedy giant to languish in the celestial dust.
Album highlights include the Beatles-esque “Beanstalk Jack” and a genial nod to Dolly Parton on “Let Me Be.” “Bestest Bargain” cruises along courtesy of some fine Simon and Garfunkel-ish vocal harmonies, while “Lucky Jack” channels Woody Guthrie and explodes with some very fancy fiddling. The rousing, ‘80s-influenced dance party number, “Hey Wow,” is guaranteed to have children of all ages up on their feet and moving. Of course, any musical retelling of “Jack and the Beanstalk” must have a “Fee Fi Fo Fum” song for the giant, and the Beanstalk Jack version was inspired by Tom Waits.
Beanstalk Jack is available for download at digital retailers such as iTunes, Amazon Digital, Google Play, Bandcamp, and more. Physical CDs are available at Amazon and Bandcamp.
BUY YOURS —> HERE
Album Details: Beanstalk Jack
Release date: February 2, 2018
For all ages, and especially for ages 5 – 8
Label: Paper Canoe Records
SRP: $14 CD; $9.99 digital download
Running time: 50 minutes.
BEANSTALK JACK TRACK LIST:
Let Me Be
Look at Us Now
It’s a Big World
Fee Fi Fo Fum
Lay You Down
All the Pretty Things
Get on Down the Beanstalk
Check out their first Music Video:
on You-Tube – Amazing stop animation, puppetry, and dancing stuffed bear (Tami Stronach is in the bear costume).
Hey Wow, Let’s Dance! Choreography: Tami Stronach. Executive producer: Tami Stronach
A little bit more about Paper Canoe:
Paper Canoe co-founder Greg Steinbruner sings lead vocals on Beanstalk Jack. Greg grew up attending Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger concerts, and his initial idea was to create a simple song cycle inspired by those folk icons and others, which would tell the story of “Jack and the Beanstalk.” Enter top-shelf bass player and producer Jacob Silver, who grasped Greg’s vision by the tail. Jacob himself had performed with Pete Seeger, as well as with Arlo Guthrie and family and American legends like Levon Helms. Jacob spoke with first-hand authority of the traditions Greg wanted to evoke.
With contributions from Brooklyn’s community of talented acoustic musicians, the classic folk/ bluegrass/county fair music featured on the first half of Beanstalk Jack came to life easily. However, Greg and Jacob wanted to expand the musical palette by having Jack greeted by the sounds of rock and roll at the top of the beanstalk. To pay homage to particular styles, Jacob sent tracks around the country to musicians who had the sounds the team needed. That’s how incredible performers like Tom Ayers and Ryan Scott ended up contributing solos on the songs “Lonely Boy” and “Steal Away.” Bit by bit, over the course of two years, Beanstalk Jack came together as a one-of-a-kind musical experience for the whole family to enjoy together.