MP3 Ken Lonnquist - Welcome 2 Kenland
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32 MP3 Songs
KIDS/FAMILY: Children's Pop, FOLK: Folk Pop
WELCOME 2 KENLAND
âWow What a treat!
Welcome 2 Kenland features 32 songs (over 73 minutes of music) and most of them are outstanding. Lonnquistâs music is some of the freshest and most creative childrenâs music Iâve heard in a long time.â
'"Fred Koch, Chicago Parent Magazine
Ken Lonnquist: The Fifth Beatle
Music Review by Sally Russell
Minnesota Parent Magazine
Ken Lonnquist is the most astounding thing to happen to childrenâs'"no, make that family'"music since... well, since forever. There is no way to adequately describe the music he creates or capture the charm of his live performances, no one to whom he can be compared. Except perhaps John, Paul, George and Ringo.
I cannot imagine what our lives would be like without his music in our home, our car, as a part of our family language. And the scary thing is, I only stumbled onto him by accident.
Six months pregnant and unwilling to sit another moment watching my ankles swell at the playground, five-year-old Malcolm and I sauntered down the street a muggy summer day in search of respite. The Wild Rumpus bookstore was cool and welcoming. Part library, part animal sanctuary, part retail space, all fun; itâs the sort of bookstore where children come first in an entirely uncontrived way.
Apparently, many knew of Ken Lonnquistâs performance that day, and the excitement was palpable. When this exuberant character stepped forward with a guitar and microphone, everything I knew and believed about music aimed at children flew out the charming childrenâs storeâs front door.
Ken hunkered down with the kids and sang songs that resonated with them about one-speed bikes, X-ray specs, elephants, and enormous cats. He stood tall, winked at parents, and spun stories of foolish children who neglect âpleaseâ and âthank youâ then are whisked away by fairies to dark and mysterious fates. For an all-too-brief afternoon, filled with equal amounts of joy and fun, he held our hearts with his music.
Music has always been a huge part of our lives, all sorts: Eric Clapton, Glenn Miller, Beethoven, Cole Porter, The Doors, Patsy Cline, Mozart, Billy Holiday, those aforementioned guys from Liverpool... suffice to say our tastes are eclectic. My children also enjoy many fine geared-to-children tapes, CDâs and yes, records. From Burl Ives to the Roches; I can listen to them in managed amounts.
But grown-ups donât play those childrenâs collections alone and there are firm guidelines regarding how many times certain music can be listened to in a twenty-four hour period. Donât talk to me about Raffi (who is perfectly fine) or Sharon, Lois and Bram (also quite pleasant) and try to draw comparisons. They are The Monkees; Ken is The Beatles.
My husband and I were stunned when we started listening to our first acquisition. Where did this guy come from? Why hadnât we heard about him before? Thereâs a change that comes over someone, as the transformation from passive to attentive listener occurs.
âWhat is this? Who is this? Did you hear that lyric? Itâs really funny!â
Much of the fun of Lonnquist is the discovery. His songs contain brilliant pieces of humor, allowing children to revel and adults to reminisce about the precious and perilous aspects of childhood. And Iâve been told that the children in my home have an especially fine ability to relate to the song, âMy Motherâs Snoring.â
There are story songs inspired by fairy tales, environmental ditties that speak to everything from Garbage to Rainforests, songs that praise vegetables and breakfast-food. Weâve only begun our Lonnquist collection, with Circus Kenlando, Earthy Songs For Kids, Kengos Bongos, Welcome 2 Kenland and The Lost Songs of Kenland; thereâs not a lemon in the bunch. Some of his more mellow efforts can move me to tears, or bring a small soul to my side for an extra kiss.
Besides appearing around the country, he also composes for the Childrenâs Theater of Madison and has written ten full-scale musical theater productions. He has received'"among other awards and distinctions'"the Entertainer of the Year by the Wisconsin Area Music Industry, Parentâs Choice, American Library Association, and an Environmentalist of the Year from the Madison Audubon Society. Heâs composed thousands of songs and recorded more than three hundred of them.
The successes of his song-writing workshops, residencies for schools, universities, teacher, and environmental conferences are evident in the liner notes, for many of the recordings come from work with the children.
Although he has some loyal and committed followers, he still hasnât made tremendous headway into the Minnesota market. Fortunately, family connections bring him to this neighborhood with some regularity. Certainly, the crowds are getting larger every time he appears at Wild Rumpus, and word of mouth seems to be spreading the news gradually. But I canât help feeling as if Iâm keeping a delicious secret from the rest of the world.
I pondered the question of Ken Lonnquist as I listened to Junestruck: Luminous Songs and Tails. I wondered what his grown up music would be like, if it would appeal to me as much as his other work. It does, very much. And in the first song, I think he answers my ââ¬ËWhy isnât he better known? Why isnât he bigger?â question: âI donât wanna be a star, just wanna pay all my dues / I donât wanna travel far, just wanna wear out my shoes / And if you think you can / Maybe you could follow to where I am / Dreaminâ takes you into a distant land...â
Ahhh, Ken-land. I get it now.
Ever since that chance meeting, this music has been a part of our family and so, naturally, has Ken. What if we hadnât walked into the store that day? There are no accidents, only collisions of fate. Ken Lonnquist is among my happiest karmic fender benders.
'"Sally Russell is a frequent contributor to Minnesota Parent.
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