Peggy's Pie Parlor
(Mini Fresh/Minty Fresh)
First Appeared at The Music Box, September 2003, Volume 10, #9
Written by John Metzger
Ralph Covert, who is now recording under the moniker Ralph’s World, has carved out quite a niche for himself in the children’s music market. At the Bottom of the Sea was a master stroke of genius in that it was as appealing to adults as it was to kids — a concept that seems lost on most artists targeting toddlers. Covert’s follow-up Happy Lemons wasn’t nearly as successful, and though it still fared better than most, it also fell back into some of the trappings that frequently have plagued the genre. His latest outing Peggy’s Pie Parlor reverses the downward trend, and finds Covert fully reinvested in his songs. Yes, it unfortunately does contain some annoying moments — the repetitive Family Day (which undoubtedly works better in concert than it does here), the grating Yon Yonson, and the ragtag children’s chorus that inevitably drags down the otherwise fine All I Wanna Do Is Play, I’m My Own Grandpaw, and The Mighty Worm. That said, these few missteps are easily overcome by the rest of the music on this terrific album. Covert’s sunny melodies, fanciful lyrics, and brilliant instrumentation all merge together on songs that range from driving rockers (Banana Seat Bike) to bubbly polkas (Peggy’s Pie Parlor Polka) to old-time tunes (Walt Kelly’s Go Go Pogo and the bluegrass standard I’m My Own Grandpaw) in wonderfully seamless fashion. Better still, they never stoop to condescension or conformity, making Peggy’s Pie Parlor a fun-filled time for all. ½
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2003 The Music Box