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Paul Austin Kelly | Hello, Michael Rosen!

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Kids/Family: General Children's Music Folk: Folk Pop Moods: Mood: Fun
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Hello, Michael Rosen!

by Paul Austin Kelly

Dance and sing along to Folk, Rock, Rap & Pop settings of the poems of children's favourite poet Michael Rosen, set to music and performed by Walking Oliver's world-renowned singer Paul Austin Kelly.
Genre: Kids/Family: General Children's Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Beans
4:17 album only
clip
2. Boogy Woogy Buggy
2:39 album only
clip
3. Little Boy Blues
3:01 album only
clip
4. Newcomers
1:59 album only
clip
5. Mike's Wedding
7:45 album only
clip
6. Keith's Cupboard
2:00 album only
clip
7. Shmutter
1:48 album only
clip
8. Lubricate The Joints
3:16 album only
clip
9. Eileen Ogle
1:58 album only
clip
10. Video
2:12 album only
clip
11. Michael Rosen Rap
3:01 album only
clip
12. Dog Suite
9:13 album only
clip
13. Shmutter Reprise
0:35 album only

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
~Review by Gerald Haigh, from The Times Educational Supplement, 26 March 2004

"Hello, Michael Rosen! is a collection of settings of a dozen Michael Rosen poems. You wonder how some of them will work, for although Rosen's poems have powerful internal rhythms, they don't all go "tum-ti-tum" by any means. Kelly brings the trick off, though, and the result is, for example, a song like "Shmutter" ("OK, so laugh! OK, so I thought it was an English word. How should I know it isn't English?") which he renders in a wonderfully mock-apocalyptic style, slightly, and appropriately, reminiscent of the synagogue. My favourite here, though, is "Mike's Wedding" ("My brother got married in an old Wimpy bar") that's performed as a joyful country-style romp.

The huge strenth of these productions lies in the sheer musicianship that's on display. Kelly is a trained singer, but he has the facility, which many professionals do not, to use his voice in a range of styles from operatic to several versions of Country and Western. His "blue grass" sound, for example, is a delight-you can practically see the hand behind his ear. Accompaniments are a combination of instruments and clever studio work, and every song is treated with originality and sheer good taste.

Keep playing them [Walking Oliver CDs] to the children, because there's enough here to bear any amount of repetition." (end of review)

Paul Austin Kelly gives children the chance to re-experience the beloved poetry of celebrated children's author Michael Rosen. Through thoughtful use of melody and phrasing, Kelly breathes musical life into 12 of Rosen's delightfully quirky and comical poems, making them even more memorable and accessible. Hello, Michael Rosen is a rollicking musical adventure that is by turns comical, poignant, nonsensical and enlightening.

Includes full-color 16 page mini-book with poem text and delightfully engaging illustrations by award-winning children's illustrator Korky Paul.

Paul Austin Kelly relates how he became acquainted with the work of Michael Rosen:

"As eager parents, my wife and I began reading to our infant son well before he was able to grasp the meanings of all the wonderful words we so lavishly bestowed upon his ears. One of our early favourites was the marvelous Rosen collection called "Don't Put Mustard in the Custard" (Scholastic Ltd., 1996). Some of the British expressions were new to our American ears, but the rhythm and harmony of the poetry felt like music, and Michael's ability to view everyday life from a child's perspective helped us rediscover the magic of growing up."

"During my travels as an opera singer, I found many of these poems echoing in my head, and they began to take shape in the form most natural to me: music. Although my operatic career has been founded on singing the music of others, it has always been my dream to be a songwriter, so I began arranging and recording my musical versions of Michael's poetry. The varying styles--whether it be folk, pop, rock or rap-- reflect a combination of the music I've listened to throughout my life, shaped by my own preferences in musical form and colour.

"I think there's a real need for kids' music that features valid, interesting musical forms and quality performances." states Kelly, reserving the same respect and professionalism for his youthful audience as he does the opera-going public.

PAUL AUSTIN KELLY is the co-Director of Walking Oliver Ltd and a world-renowned opera singer. But don't panic! Even Paul knows that most children's ears aren't yet ready for the intensity of the operatic style! Nevertheless, as a highly trained musician, he knows what quality music for kids should be, so he brings his formidable musical talents in both composition and voice to the Walking Oliver musical repertoire. As agile on guitar as keyboard, with a voice that maneuvers skillfully and playfully through a wide variety of musical styles, Paul brings the joy of music and the talent of musicianship to every Walking Oliver recording , making the music come alive for children who can't help but sing along!

In 2002, Paul Austin Kelly made it official. From country to folk, jazz to hip hop, rock to pop and even classical, Walking Oliver recordings would be imaginative, insightful musical journeys, always backed by quality musical performances, always delivering on the promise of quality music for kids.

Still, it has been with the collaboration of his artistic partners that Paul's original mission comes full circle. After having been in contact for more than three years via email and telephone, famed children's illustrator Korky Paul finally hopped aboard the Walking Oliver bandwagon and not only designed the irresistible WO logo, complete with a whistling, finger-snapping Oliver, but also joined the team as designer and illustrator of their CD mini-books and labels, giving Walking Oliver both a fun-loving canine mascot and fantastical full-colour fun to accompany children's listening experience. Because while Walking Oliver will always be first and foremost about quality music for kids, music is just the beginning. Through music, words and art, Walking Oliver is dedicated to creating those special moments of love and laughter for kids and their families.

Paul has performed leading roles with many of the world's most prestigious opera companies including the Royal Opera at Covent Garden, La Scala in Milan, the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Glyndebourne Festival.

He has made numerous guest appearances on BBC Radio. Mr. Kelly has also worked professionally as a jazz singer and is an accomplished guitarist and trumpet player. A native of upstate New York, Paul Austin Kelly lives with his wife Carol, son Zack and, of course, Oliver Himself, at their home in Lewes, East Sussex, England.

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Reviews


to write a review

John Wood

NAPPA Honours Award Winner 2004!
The funny-bone poetry of Michael Rosen, the inspired music and vocals of Paul Austin Kelly and the jump-off-the-page illustrations from Korky Paul make this collaboration a must-have.
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Irma Leopold

Michael Rosen's poetry brought to life musically. Loved it.
We loved the quirky and heartfelt lyrics (no wonder Michael Rosen is so popular with kids in England) and the music a refreshing change from that repetitive kind that drives you up the wall like so many other kids’ music. Paul Austin Kelly is an excellent singer and excels in all sorts of musical styles.

This CD is probably more suited to older children seven and up, as opposed to the toddler crowd although the song Beans is a catchy and silly tune that the younger ones will like.
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Amjath


It was very nice
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Times Educational Supplement

Gerald Haigh reviews Walking Oliver Sing-A-Long and Hello, Michael Rosen! in Tim
Forget the Today programme and give Terry Wogan a break and play these in your car on the way to school. I promise you that you'll arrive with a smile big enough to survive the news that you have to cover 9W for RE in the hut at the other end of the playground.

Walking Oliver started in 2002 as a company devoted to what it calls "quality music for kids." These two CDs-there are others on their list, all aimed at children-bear that claim out triumphantly. Sing-A-Long has 25 favourites, from "This Old Man," through "Hush Little Baby" to "Polly Wolly Doodle." All those songs, in fact, that you vaguely know and wish you could find. Look no further, for here they are, beautifully sung by Paul Austin Kelly (with a little help from his friends and Oliver the dog) and immaculately recorded.

Hello, Michael Rosen! is a collection of setting of a dozen Michael Rosen poems. You wonder how some of them will work, for although Rosen's poems have powerful internal rhythms, they don't all go "tum-ti-tum" by any means. Kelly brings the trick off, though, and the result is, for example, a song like "Shmutter" ("OK, so laugh" OK, so I thought it was an English word. How should I know it isn't English?") which he renders in a wonderfully mock-apocalyptic style slightly, and appropriately, reminiscent of the synagogue. My favourite here, though, is "Mike's Wedding" -"My brother got married in an old Wimpy bar" that's performed as a joyful country-style romp.

The huge strength of these productions lies in the sheer musicianship that's on display. Kelly is a trained singer, but he has the facility, which many professionals do not, to use his voice in a range of styles from operatic to several versions of Country and Western. His "blue grass" sound, for example, is a delight-you can practically see the hand behind his ear. Accompaniments are a combination of instruments and clever studio work, and every song is treated with originality and sheer good taste.

You can use these songs in all sorts of ways-put the words up on the whiteboard or projector for example, and use them as motivators for reading. And if you already use Mike Rosen poems, then here's a completely new and fresh dimension to add to them.

Most of all, though, just enjoy the recordings. Keep playing them to the children, because there's enough inventiveness here to bear any amount of repetition.
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