"The Paul McCartney of kids' music." — USA Today
"Deft lyrics and beautiful sound." — Los Angeles Times
"As a kids' performer, Roberts is in a league of his own." — Chicago Tribune
Like a scene from "Groundhog Day," the event repeats itself over and over. Bass and drums pound out the beat in perfect unison. Bodies spring to their feet and rush the stage; jumping, dancing and bouncing off each other like bumper cars. The concertgoers behave like children. This should come as no surprise, because they are children, participating in the kiddie mosh pit found at nearly every Justin Roberts concert.
Justin Roberts is truly one of the "all-stars" of the indie family music scene. He logs thousands of miles on the road each year, leading some to call him the hardest working man in children's show business. With numerous national awards and recognition and a devoted fan base, Justin and The Not Ready for Naptime Players dish out unexpectedly intelligent and whimsically rocking music for kids and their parents.
Justin's latest CD Jungle Gym ascends through the collective memories of childhood: from the joys of trick or treating and gym class parachutes and sleepovers to the magic stillness of snow days. The recording takes listeners on a journey through iconic experiences that kids will relate to and parents will remember. It's an often funny and rocking ride: from magic moments sailing on a moonlit cardboard box, through the temporary trauma of getting lost, to the anticipation and wonder of a school fire drill. Giant pounding drums, vintage electric guitars, strange and fanciful time changes, soaring vocals and elegant French horns conquer the heights of the jungle gym.
This seventh family music CD from Justin Roberts continues a hot streak that started in the early 1990s. Roberts began his music career in the Minneapolis-based indie-rock band Pimentos for Gus. He decided to moonlight (during the day) as a Montessori preschool teacher. It wasn't long before Justin began writing and singing songs for a new generation of fans: his students. The kids immediately responded and inspired Justin to record some of his new songs and send them out to a few friends for Christmas. One of the gift recipients was Liam Davis, a college pal and music producer, who suggested that they record the songs professionally.
In 1998, Justin released his first CD, Great Big Sun, and the critics took note. Justin's music was soon being compared to everyone from Elvis Costello and Fountains of Wayne to Paul Simon, ELO and Nick Lowe. By 2001, Justin had hit the road full time, doing what he loves most: playing music for appreciative crowds. Kiddie mosh pits broke out, word spread and shows started selling out. He has played at such renowned venues and festivals as NYC's Symphony Space, DC's National Geographic Live, LA's Getty Museum, Seattle's Moore Theater, Lollapalooza and Chicago's Ravinia.
Justin has performed in front of millions of people on The Today Show, he's featured on Nick Jr. TV, and his song "Get Me Some Glasses" was featured on a World Series broadcast. He's also garnered kudos and raves from national media including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, People, Entertainment Weekly, and the Chicago Tribune.
Once again, Justin Roberts raises the bar for family music with a playground full of bright new songs for parents and kids to enjoy together. Whether you're playing the familiar game Duck Duck Goose ("We Go Duck") in a new way or saying a wistful goodbye to your trusty bed as you leave for "Sleepoverland," Jungle Gym provides a memorable soundtrack for the way families live today.