YOSI Lively Children's Sing-Alongs

 

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PRESS

Editor's Pick! Hanukkah songs get a rock and roll jolt when Yosi and the Super Dads get a hold of them. -The Washington Post


Yosi & The Superdads performances are heroic! - ArtsQuest (MusikFest)


 

Sound Off!
A Winner from Yosi & the Superdads

by Kathy O’Connell

Yosi & the Superdads grab a place among the year’s best with Super Kids Rock!

“B-E-A-C-H” conjures up surf and sand with outstanding guitar work that shines throughout the CD. “Yes We Can” celebrates Barack Obama’s inspiration of kids with a mix of bluesy harmonica, joyful rock guitar and references to “The Little Engine That Could.”

“Squeaky, the Line Leader” brings hard-driving Ramones-flavored motorcycle music to the saga of a hamster. “Funky Monkey” tricks the ear with folky sounds before bursting forth with funky power. The brass and rhythm sections of this big-sounding band are as strong as the guitar.

Yosi’s cover of the Pixies’ “Hey” adds a toddler’s voice on each “Hey” with sweet results. Parents will laugh at “So You Want to Be a Kid’s Rock Star” with lines like “with your business cards you’ll be playing backyards.” It’s music for serious rockers by rockers who don’t take themselves too seriously.

- MetroKids


"Pops rock: Yosi & the Superdads is a band with the kid vibe big time." -Montgomery Gazette


A variety of music styles and instruments help maintain a fresh sound from the first song to the last. Publishers Weekly


 

"Eugene is one monster kids wouldn't mind having under their bed. Along with its puppeteer, Johnny Beirne and friendly children's musician, Yosi, Eugene uses songs to encourage kids to embrace what makes them unique." - Washington Post, Editor's Pick


 

"I highly recommend you bring your little kids to see Yosi and Eugene!!!!"
-Liz Jeressi, 94.3 The Point (Morning Radio Personality)


 

NPR

2009's Best Music For Kids, And Their Families

This rock-heavy album maintains its outstanding multi-generational appeal by paying homage to the past while acknowledging the present. "B-E-A-C-H" conjures up images of surf, sand and Brian Wilson with surf guitar and bongo beats. "Yes We Can" turns kids' enthusiasm for the pesident into an upbeat and uplifting celebration of their own abilities. "So You Want to Be a Kid's Rock Star" uses the Byrds classic-rock tune to predict "with your business cards, you'll be playing backyards."


 

"The hottest rock 'n roll band out there for young children. Your kids won't let you miss this one!" - Montclair State University


Jackson NJ on-line

Yosi, children’s rock star extraordinaire, is the equivalent of the Wiggles. Ok, sorry, that’s an insult to Yosi. He’s the Sex Pistols for toddlers. He’s the Kiss for kids. He’s Nirvana for the newborns.

- Jackson NJ on-line


Chattanooga Parent Magazine: Review of Super Kids Rock!

"A rock and roll record for the whole family." - Servings from the Cereal Bowl,


"Yosi and the Superdads, a high energy group of musician-dads fronted by Yosi Levin. Levin has won several awards, including Children's Music Web Awards and National Parenting Publications Awards." - Lehigh Valley Parenting

 

 

Press for WHAT'S EATIN' YOSI?

KidsMusic.ABOUT.COM

(4 STARS ... out of 5)

This the the fourth album from Yosi. The songs are original and very appealing. My son's favorite song is "Eat, Repeat" (The Burping Song). I predict many other kids will love it as well. I personally love "On Top of Spaghetti." Although you know the song, Yosi's version is a whole new experience. (more...)


ZOOGLOBBLE

"I really like the Zydeco stylings of the album opener, "Let's Get Cookin'," the punk thrash version of "On Top of Spaghetti," and the duet with Brady Rymer on Rymer's rootsy "Fresh Brown Eggs." My favorite song on the entire album is the album closer, "I Just Love You." What's Eatin' Yosi? might make you feel stuffed by the end...enough good music on there worth listening to. I recommend it. (more...)


Metro Kids

A Rock Revelation

Yosi and The SuperDads are a rock and roll revelation from deep in the heart of Jersey. Yosi (aka Yosef Levin) has fine albums for younger kids (Under A Big Bright Yellow Umbrella), but What's Eatin' Yosi? reaches a new level for this family entertainer, pleasing all ages. Like so many family albums, there's a theme (food), but the theme is addressed in such a fun way that you forget you're learning while you're listening.

Solid musicianship lifts this CD from the pack. The songs are remarkable, wether it's punk rock "On Top of Spaghetti" or klezmer-tinged "Bulbes (Potatoes)."

Yosi and The SuperDads invited fellow dad/rocker Brady Rymer to join them on their "Fresh Brown Eggs," turning the song into a treat for fans of both bands. The musical menu ranges from zydeco ("Let's Get Cookin'") to barbershop ("Spaghetti Worms and Meatballs") to sweet jazz ("I Just Love You") that ends the CD like a delicious sherbert.

What's Eatin' Yosi? rocks with infectious fun that makes you laugh while it makes you hungry.

- Kathy O'Connell (Sound Off!)


A to Z Kids Stuff

"Rockin' music about food and cooking."


PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY

Got an appetite for silly food songs? Then Yosi's latest should be a top choice from the musical menu. Spanning the healing power of "Chicken Noodle Soup" to the breezy sounding, calypso-flavored "Chilly Chili," young listeners get a taste of various foods and musical styles. Never forgetting his core audience, Yosi includes kid choruses on several tracks and seems to relish the tongue twister "Pass the Purple Pesto Pasta Please," the alien theme of "Schlurpknof" and the broad Wildlife Café menu on "Spaghetti Worms and Meatballs." Yosi's warm, inviting vocals and guitar and harmonica playing receive rousing support from a quality band of musicians lending piano, ukulele, saxophone, accordion, banjo and a host of other sounds to the mix. All ages.


NY METRO PARENTS

FUN WITH FOOD

Silly songs about food suffuse What’s Eatin’ Yosi?, the CD from New Jersey dad, Yosi. The Israeli-born father of four sings about “Chicken Noodle Soup” – good for both the croup and nose goop and the gas certain foods cause in “Eat, Repeat”, a song that features a chorus of burping dads. Yosi wrote most of the 16 songs, but my favorite is a traditional Yiddish song, “Bulbes” (Potatoes). Fellow father rocker Brady Rymer also sings “Fresh Brown Eggs”. And Yosi includes an homage to Arlo Guthrie in “Spaghetti Worms & Meatballs” – “You can get anything you want at Hannah’s wildlife café…(except for Hannah)”.

- Judy Antell


Booklist

Playing with food musically as Yosi does is not only great fun but leaves no crumbs. The 16 songs speed through an eclectic menu that kids can cotton to; even table manners come in for a noisy mention. Subjects are often as wholesomely simple as soup, eggs and potatoes in "Chicken Noodle Soup," "Fresh Brown Eggs" (written and performed by fellow-dad-rocker Brady Rymer), and "Bulbes (Potatoes)," a spirited version of a Yiddish folksong. The songs concern both flavorful favorites -pizza, chili, candy, desserts - and less-common fare - purple-pesto pasta, chicken gizzards, spaghetti worms and meatballs, and alien delicacies. The musical menu varies, too. It's mostly rock, but zydeco, jazz, and reggae styles are also thrown in. Listeners are in for a tasty experience. -Paul Shackman


Indie-Music.com

"It’s not easy to tackle every genre of music and sound equally skilled on each one, but Yosi and his musicians pull it off, from pop to rock to ragtime to reggae and beyond." (more...) -Jennifer Layton


Parents Express

"Eclectic original children's music ...applauded for it's appeal to kids 5 to 8, but can be enjoyed by adults too." - Katherine Ritz Hahn


(5 STARS ... out of 5) "Superfun for kids and adults" ...AMAZON customer

This collection of kids tunes about food is endlessly creative and amazingly eclectic (the styles range from straight-ahead rock and pop to zydeco, dixieland, klezmer, country, spaghetti western surf music, opera, punk and barbershop quartet, just to name a few!). Kids love the kookiness and light-hearted absurdity, and it's intelligent and creative enough to be appreciated and enjoyed by parents after many (many) listens. My personal faves are "Pass The Purple Pesto Pasta Please," "Chicken Noodle Soup," "Chicken Gizzards and Collard Greens" and "Spaghetti, Worms and Meatballs." Listen for the occasional tip of the hat to earlier tunes and bands--you may be surprised what you recognize! Yosi is definitely one of the cooler artists in the alternative/indie kids music movement. -Tony Camaro (Lewisburg, Pennsylvania USA), AMAZON customer

 

ASSOCIATED PRESS

"Shore Entertainer Goes National"

For those too young to stay up for "American Idol," Yosi Levin is the biggest rock star there is!

The children's singer, who waxes silly with songs about lovesick dinosaurs, stomping in puddles and not wanting to go to sleep, is getting bigger too. A popular performer on the Jersey Shore, he's spreading out now with concert dates and nationwide airplay. (more...)

-Wayne Parry


FamilyCorner.com

Pull up a chair and fill up on this bowlful of 16 musical surprises from Yosi, whose all-ages tunes have been acclaimed by the New York Times as "whimsical and genre spanning." Catch Yosi and the SuperDads at many summer festivals and concerts this month and next. You can also contribute your favorite family recipes to his new "Eats" page on the website


The Lovely Mrs. Davis

Yosi represents a range of styles that are both musically and culturally diverse. Calypso, zydeco, New Orleans jazz, barbershop quartet, and even klezmer (think of a Jewish wedding circle dance) are all present on What's Eatin' Yosi?, making the album a vertiable smorgasbord of styles and genres.

High points on What's Eatin' Yosi? are his duet with Brady Rymer on Brady's "Fresh Brown Eggs," and the mock-classic rock "Chicken Noodle Soup" with its frequent "oh, yeaaah's" and sax solo that are a hilarious send-up to Bob Seger. And for those of you who have at one time or another dressed your pre-schooler in a Ramones t-shirt, the punk rock "On Top of Spaghetti" will be this album's greatest selling point. The album is at times both goofy and sweet. While Yosi has hints of the "Goofy Dad" sub-genre discussed below, his education and background in psychology and counseling seem to inform his work to a certain degree, as does the time he spent playing in a college punk band, making for a great balance.


NJ MONTHLY

A Troubadour for Toddlers

Yosi Levin admits that his transition from mental-health counselor to children's music star is a bit unusual. Weaned on rock 'n roll - he played in a punk band while at Rutgers - Levin sang at his daughter's preschool nearly a decade ago, which led to requests for birthday party appearances near his home in Island Heights. Before long, the affable, 39-year-old father of four was juggling kiddie concerts with his job at an Ocean County-run clinic. By 2003, the music took over full time."I'll be honest," he says. "This is more fun, and it pays a lot better."

Levin is downright Springsteen-esque in his ability to inspire devoted fans, albeit between the ages of two and eight. He's recorded four albums, including What's Eatin' Yosi?, which ranges from rock and zydeco to klezmer and jazz. His Jewish mother's culinary cure-all inspired his rockin' "Chicken Noodle Soup" ("Oh yeah, we got chicken noodle soup/Oh yeah, for a nose full of goop"). "Since parents are potentially listening, I try to give my songs a lot of good hooks," Levin says. "I want them to be fun for everyone."

Levin plays more than 450 concerts a year, many of them small private parties, but this month he and his band, Yosi and The Superdads, go big-time: On Sunday the 8th they'll perform at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel.

- Nicole Pensiero


Kenosha News (Wisconsin)

Kid's music is really starting to impress me lately. Musicians aiming at success in this highly competitive market are making a greater effort to give the little ones something with a little more substance than "Old MacDonald."

Yosi Levin is a guitarist and vocalist who is one of the best in this new breed of children's entertainers. His voice has the playful quality of an interesting older uncle telling you woppers as you enjoy an ice cream cone on a hot summer day.

The instrumentation is upbeat and happy, as are the songs. If "Pass The Purple Pesto Pasta Please" and the ode to the belch "Eat, Repeat" don't get you smiling, there's something wrong with you. This food-themed CD is fun stuff for parents and kids alike. Highly recommended.

- Dan Pavelich (Quick Spins)


Cool Tunes For Kids

What's Eatin' Yosi starts off with a rollickin' Nawlin's style romp called "Let's Get Cookin'". Yosi has a Buddy Holly kind of yelp and twang to his voice on this one, and it's a great first course for the meal, copping Hank Williams' "good lookin'/cookin'" rhyme on the refrain. There are some other tasty morsels on the album... "Pass the Purple Pesto Pasta Please" is next, and the title says it all on that one. It actually builds up from that phrase to things like "Pass the purple pesto pasta in a porcelain pitcher," with Yosi ably twisting his tongue to get it all out. I might have gone with a porcelain platter, though, but I suppose pouring from a pitcher might be a faster means of pasta distribution. Regardless, it's a really cute song and a swingin' Dixieland sound makes this track a favorite of mine to snack on. "Chilly Chili" has a sweet Frank Zappa and the Wailers kind of vibe and a catchy vocal. The traditional song "Bulbes (Potatoes)" has a bouncy eastern European sound with some delicious clarinet on top by Mark Fineberg (who also adds some nice saxaphone on "Don't Doodle"). "Fresh Brown Eggs" is a chewy folk duet with Yosi and Brady Rymer. "Just Desserts" is a 50's style rock 'n' roll dish, served cool. "Schlurpknopf" is an amusing Rocky Horror style sci-fi number about the favorite food of aliens everywhere. "Spaghetti Worms and Meatballs" is an a cappella barbershop song that reminded me a little bit of The Music Man, A Mighty Wind and Arlo Guthrie (confirmed by the direct Arlo parody at the end). -Eric Herman


 

Yosi, the South Jersey, resident and member of cult favorite the Superdads hosts a sing-along with jams like "Pass the Purple Pesto Pasta Please," featuring decidedly zany (and often poignant) lyrics for kids to croon.

Time Out New York Kids


 

Yosi is one of the best in this new breed of children's entertainers.
-Princeton University, Frist Campus

Press for UNDER A BIG BRIGHT YELLOW UMBRELLA

BUNDLE Magazine

Punk Baby! Punk rocker-turned-papa Yosi doesn't plunge into mosh pits anymore, but the catchy Ska & Pop on his Under A Big Bright Yellow Umbrella CD will have your tot pogo-ing like she's at CBGB's. And no kid will be able to resist Yosi's lowdown "Stinky Blues." -BUNDLE Magazine


PARENTING:

Yosi: A lovely way to enjoy a rainy day. UNDER A BIG BRIGHT YELLOW UMBRELLA: A dozen high-energy songs about such eclectic topics as selling salt in the Sahara, stinky feet, and more make up this original collection. With wisdom fit just for kids: "Cheese forms in between your toes/Leaches grow in a garden hose." -Suelain Moy, Parenting


NEW YORK TIMES

By The Way: A Fan Base That Dances, Claps and Naps

Better judgment may tell you to steer clear of a guy named Yosi with a guitar slung over his shoulder, but there is no need. Tribes of drippy new-agers do not trail Yosi, an Island Heights musician. Two-year-olds do. "They're funny," Yosi said after a recent Point Pleasant Concert for a crowd of clapping preschoolers. "They're actually star-struck by me. They'll say, 'Oh, we'll see you next week at the Ocean County Library show.' They know my schedule better than I do." Little wonder. The June release of "Under a Big Bright Yellow Umbrella." Yosi's third whimsical, genre-spanning CD for 2-to-9-year-olds, which is holding at No. 11 (down from its peak of No. 2) on the XM Satellite Radio Childrens' chart has won him honors including the Film Advisory Board's award of excellence. His success coincides with a schedule that most artists would call crazy. In addition to distributing the CD himself, this year Yosi will play 450 shows from New York to Virginia, most of them scattered around New Jersey. "I'll do three or four shows a day sometimes," said Yosi, whose full name is Yosi Levin. That can include "three festivals or a couple of private parties and a library show." At his shows, the barely-out-of-Pampers set peppers him with requests for "Hole in the Ground," a bouncy number about the burning desire to be a worm, or the hard-luck, smoky "Stinky Blues," for which his normally even-keeled voice goes gravely. He's a casual Fridays kind of performer who dons a theme outfit only when it's called for. It is a lifestyle, he said, that he can barely believe he lucked into. "Seven years ago, when my daughter was 3, I brought my guitar into her preschool" - Toms River Nursery School - " and the director liked it so much she gave me a tuition reduction to keep coming in and playing. From there it just mushroomed." New Gods, the Punk outfit he led from 1985 to 1989, while he was a Rutgers student, had little effect as a launch pad, he said. He became a counselor to the emotionally disturbed. "It just fizzled. I had no idea I'd ever do anything with music," he said. The career switch has been met with across-the-board thumbs-up from his own four children, ages 2 through 10. "Even the 10-year-old still likes it," he said proudly. "She's not the type of kid to put on airs. She doesn't have to be cool."
—Tammy La Gorce, NEW YORK TIMES


Under a Big Bright Yellow Umbrella Brightens Even Cloudiest Days Before parenthood, you never imagined the music your kids listen to would crawl into your own brain. Where you once knew the words of popular songs, now yhou find yourself singing Raffi's toothbrush song in the car, the shower, or heaven forbid, in public. It's inevitable, so we might as well choose their music carefully. That's where a hip, new CD called Under a Big Bright Yellow Umbrella comes in. This is the second release by Yosi,a New Jersey artist and father. The upbeat, fun songs will quickly become family favorites, particularly the cover song and "Stinky Blues," which talksa bout the epitome of y oung child humor, smelly feet. You'll find yourself singing these catchy tunes, too -- don't say I didn't warn you. But somehow it doesn't feel quite so embarrassing. -Rebecca Murphy, Editor, Metro Augusta Parent (Georgia)


The songs on 'Under a Big Bright Yellow Umbrella' by Yosi run the musical gamut from folk to ska (Yosi Music, $14.99). Among the typical kid-centered lyrics about boogers, frogs and making friends, Yosi deftly includes a theme of cultural appreciation. A fun anthology of tongue twisters, lullabies, and more. - MetroParent (Detroit & Ann Arbor)


Making funny voices brings smiling faces to Yosi's audience of children! -Susan Van Dongen, Time Off


A diverse group of sounds can be heard on "Under a Big Bright Yellow Umbrella" by musician Yosi (YosiMusic, $14.99). Winner of a 2004 iParenting Media Award, as well as a 2004 Film Advisory Board Award of Excellence, this CD includes reggae, rock, blues, country, lullaby and more, in high-energy. -Parents Express, (Philadelphia area)


CONSTANT LISTENER – (HushNJ.com) - By Jim Testa

Jersey Beat, the fanzine that I edit and put out, has been turning music fans into rock critics for over 20 years now, providing budding rock writers with a chance to be published and see their first bylines in print. Some of our alumni include the music critic at the Chicago Sun-Times, a Conservative born-again Christian columnist at Salon, Mickey from Ween, and Ben Weasel from Screeching Weasel. They’ve all grown up and gone on to become pundits, critics, rock stars, and professional punks… but none of those stories tops Yosi Levin’s. You see, Yosi not only earns a very nice living from music – he does it performing hundreds of shows a year to an audience that isn’t even old enough to read yet. He is the prince of Pre-K, the poet laureate of the potty-training set, bigger than Barney and hipper than Hillary Duff. And how he got there is one heck of a story. As a snotty high-schooler playing in New Jersey hardcore bands, Yosi became Jersey Beat’s first (and only) advice columnist. Of course, he did it with a twist; his column was called “Ask The Anarchist,” and his words of wisdom usually amounted to things like “Drop out of school and learn to play guitar, loser!” It's hard to believe that twenty years later, the same Yosi Levin is now adored by a small army of toddlers and grade school kids who think he’s cooler than Spongebob Squarepants and Thomas The Tank Engine times infinity. So how exactly does one go from being an anarchist punk rocker to performing catchy singalongs for little kids? “It's a long nonmusical road from hardcore Punk to children's music,” Yosi explained. “When I was in The Exposed (1986-‘87,) I was just starting college. The band morphed into the New Gods (‘87-‘91) by the time I finished college. After the New Gods broke up, I finished grad school and became a professional counselor. I got married and when my first child went to nursery school, I brought in my guitar to sing some traditional kids songs. That was about 1996. The director loved the sing-along and offered for me to return twice a month. From there things took off.” On Yosi’s latest (and third full-length) CD, Under A Big Bright Yellow Umbrella, released this summer, he swings effortlessly between upbeat ska-punk and growly Tom Waits- ish blues, mellow reggae and head-bobbing synth-pop. There are songs about monkeys and umbrellas, stinky feet and trains, digging holes and flying balloons, a patriotic ode to the flag, and a lilting Calypso number called “My Friend Juan” that’s sung in both English and Spanish. On “Friends Around The World,” Yosi introduces his young listeners to boys and girls in India, Copenhagen, Ecuador and Israel, set to a new-wave beat that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on an early Elvis Costello album. It’s all so perky and catchy and PC that of course parents love it. But what do kids think? Well, Yosi says he plays around 450 shows a year – usually several shows a day at malls, schools, daycare facilities, theaters, and even senior citizen centers. Under A Big Bright Yellow Umbrella reached No. 2 on the XM Satellite Radio children’s channel (and is still charting in the top 20,) and his list of honors and awards includes a 2004 Parenting Media Award and the Film Advisory Board Award of Excellence. Yosi said his target audience are children from age two through eight. “There's a definite difference between boys and girls in the way they interact with music,” he noted. Girls tend to engage more cooperatively in twos or groups, holding hands, singing and dancing along together. Boys are more rambunctious & competitive. I need to appeal to their sense of challenge and keep them guessing as to what will happen next. Preschoolers are naturally exuberant but need to feel safe initially. So I always start with familiar and quieter songs before we get to the energetic stuff. “ “School age kids want to be entertained and feel smart,” he stressed. “Including them in the act is key.” One thing that sets Yosi apart from the purple dinosaurs and animated characters that tend to be his main competition is that his music appeals to both children and adults. “There's a lot of Barney type music for kids out there, and you know how kids love repetition,” he noted. “It drives parents nuts! Parents love to see their kids having fun, but after a dozen listens of "I Love You," parents are really frustrated. So I not only introduce kids to all kinds of great music (ska, reggae, blues, rock, country, etc.) but also provide intelligent and witty lyrics that parents can get into. Parents tell me that after they drop off the kids at school, they're still listening to my songs on the way to work.” “My personal taste in music is very eclectic, and it seems to contribute to some of my success,” he added. “I think my competition is limited. There are a few great children's acts that literally rock (Trout Fishing In America, Ralph's World, Dan Zanes). However there are too many uninspired, singsongy acts that pander and, in my opinion, talk down to kids and annoy parents.” After Yosi spends a full day entertaining other people’s children, he comes home to a house full of kids of his own. “Hannah is 11, she's listening to Fountain of Wayne and Good Charlotte,” he said. “She plays piano. Matt and Nik (our 7-year old twins) love to run around and wrestle to loud rock. Nik wants to play guitar and Matt wants to play drums. They'll have lessons soon. Jon is two years old and he definitely bops to daddy's music. I guess I could have a family band on my hands one day.” Maybe having his own brood at home has taught Yosi had to handle a room full of toddlers. With competition from TV, video games, Gameboys, and other diversions, it can’ t be easy to hold the attention of a 5 year old for a 40-minute set. “The challenge of keeping kids interested is greater than ever,” he agreed. “Kids are conditioned to split- second, action-packed video and audio bytes. They also need to slow down at times. So I engage them in highly interactive, humorous and energetic performances. I keep them on their toes, and there's always a question of what fun, silly and surprising thing will happen next. However, I've learned to keep that interest by slowing things down for a story song or two, using the same methods.” I asked if having been in hardcore bands as a youth himself helped with what he’s doing today. “Friends who remember me from The Exposed days say my shows are like ‘kiddy punk shows,’” he replied. “The frenzy and energy is undeniable. Parents, teachers, and librarians are usually astonished that I can get the kids so energized, then get them to lay down pretending to sleep, and then sit up and listen to a story. If every song sounded alike, it would get boring fast - for me as well as the kids.” “Some of my favorite bands have always been eclectic,” he noted. “Like The Clash, who played punk, reggae, pop, funk & blues. The Ramones did ballads, bubble gum pop, surf rock & of course garage.” Yosi keeps a very busy schedule. He’s already got a dozen shows booked for October, including appearances at a camp out, several Baby Gaps, Brielle’s Halloween parade, and the Mercer County Library, where he’ll be performing “Yosi’s Spooky Halloween Stories” on October 29. To find out when he’ll be in your area, visit www.yosimusic.com. You can also order his CD’s from the website.

NEW YORK Magazine

"Groove to a high-energy concert by Yosi & Friends." - New York


"It's GREAT! 'Under a Big Bright Yellow Umbrella' is the perfect CD to play while jumping on the bed!" —Kenny Curtis, Program Director, XMKids, XM Satellite Radio


PUBLISHERS WEEKLY:

Singer-songwriter Yosi keeps it simple and keeps it silly – a formula that engages young listeners at his many live performances and translates well to this recording. A revved-up opening track called “Hole in the Ground” kicks things off by encouraging kids to do “the worm” and “get down and get wiggling.” Soon after, a reggae beat wafts through “Selling Salt in the Sahara,” which features vocals by Deb Lyons that will have listeners swaying and singing along. “The Stinky Blues,” a ditty about wet, smelly shoes (and feet), fittingly gives prominence to some blues hallmarks: gravelly singing, wailing harmonica, and rhythmic piano. Child singers (including several of Yosi’s family members), sound effects (train, quacking ducks, etc.) and a variety of music styles and instruments help maintain a fresh sound from the first song to the last. - Publishers Weekly


School Library Journal

Under a Big Bright Yellow Umbrella. 1 CD. 43:44 min. Yosi Music. 2004. $14.99.

PreS-Gr 2–Yosi Levin’s third album for kids is a worthy addition to the world of music for children. He wrote 10 of the 12 offerings here. Great vocals, competent instrumentals, and an enthusiastic children’s chorus make these toe-tapping songs appealing. Guitars, harmonicas, trumpet, trombone, keyboard, drums, bass, piano, banjo, and saxophone are among the instruments played. Song styles include rock, rhythm ‘n blues, bluegrass, and folk. “Hole in the Ground” is where “I” want to be when “I” want to be a worm. Simple Simon is “Selling Salt in the Sahara.” One can play in the rain “Under a Big Bright Yellow Umbrella.” Stinky feet and shoes give one the “Stinky Blues.” “Where Do All Things Come From?” includes some interesting theories such as teachers from a petri dish and asparagus from outer space. Two very young children sing “My Flag” with piano accompaniment. Levin turns “Six Little Monkeys” into a wonderful rock song with the help of an enthusiastic children’s chorus. The “Train Medley” includes “New River Train,” “Down By the Station,” “Little Red Caboose,” and “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.” “Friends Around the World” celebrates multinational friendships. “My Friend Juan” is sung in English and Spanish. “Sleepy Little Town” and “Me & My Balloon” are sweet lullabies. This album has already garnered an iParenting Media Award and a 2004 Film Advisory Board Award of Excellence, and “Hole in the Ground” reached #2 on XM Kids Radio in April. A solid addition for all libraries.–Beverly Bixler, San Antonio Public Library, TX


Midwest Book Review

Under A Big Bright Yellow Umbrella is a cheery music CD featuring the guitar play of Yosi, who happens to be a licensed family therapist as well as a skilled musician. His music revolves around the theme of having fun; the accompanyment includes trumpet, trombone, drums, bass, piano, harmonica, and more or various different songs. Cheerful, international vocals with themes of friendship, sharing, and new ways of looking at the world around one distinguish this family-friendly listening experience, that will appeal to listeners of all ages. Tracks include Hole in the Ground, Selling Salt in the Sahara, Under a Big Bright Yellow Umbrella, Stinky Blues, Where Do All Things Come From?, Six Little Monkeys, My Flag, Train Medley, Friends Around the World, My Friend Juan, Sleepy Little Town, and Me & My Balloon. A treasure meant to be shared and enjoyed.


This energizing album encourages children's inner playfulness, beckoning them to "have fun." Yosi, himself has been an avid composer and performer since childhood, not to mention being a licensed family therapist. The album features ten songs with clever lyrics and instrumentals that fetaure sounds from percussion instruments, trumpets, trombones, saxophones, and more in a variety of musical styles. - Georgia Family Magazine


Children’s performer Yosi did not start out as a musician. A counselor and psychologist who played music on the side, it took him years to heed his own advice to “live genuinely” and follow one’s own inner voice. When he did that, he found his way to performing for those he loved most: his own four children and their friends. Perhaps because he understands so well what it means, in the heart, to “have fun,” Yosi’s music just vibrates with joy. Every song is a great big kid party. Yosi’s followers in the Northeast seek out his concerts and sing along to every word. If your kids are less than 9, check Yosi out. You’ll be glad you did. - South Florida Parenting


"Yosi combines high-energy spunk and warm-hearted sincerity on an album that places this upstart children's music innovator in front of the pack. From the frenzied punch of "Hole in the Ground" to the sweetness and serenity of "Me & My Balloon" (featuring Deb Lyons on vocals), Yosi is hard to classify and easy to love. There's reggae, there's world beat, there's even the "Stinky Blues." This is what the blues were meant to be: a down and dirty meditation on a pair of old, dank shoes. Train-addicted tots will eagerly listen to Yosi's "Train Medley," one of the few tracks on the album that's not an original composition. But even here Yosi gives it his own stamp by creating a unique amalgamation of choo-choo classics. Move over Raffi: There's a new kids' musician on the block, and his name is Yosi! " —Yvette Cadeaux, Hot Off the Griddle


"Summertime, and the listening's easy. Yes, in every family, there comes a time to turn off the car TV, look at the scenery and croon along with the kids. Here's some music to soothe the wild child … If the kids need a little vigorous wiggling, Yosi will get them pretending to be a worm in Under a Big Bright Yellow Umbrella!" —THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS, Family Entertainment columnist Nancy Churnin


Under a Big Bright Yellow Umbrella runs a gamut of styles from ska, reggae, and rock to blues, country, ballad, and lullaby, all performed with vibrancy and energy. The music is smart and clever as Yosi refuses to "talk down" to kids … Your kids will get caught up in the magic and fun of this CD, letting their imaginations run wild! -Ventura County Parent (California)


Yosi is a lot like Bruce Springsteen - minus the tens of millions of dollars, the international fame, the Rolling Stone covers, or the style of music which they play. He has a following. People check to see where he is playing and come to see him. The crowd sings along with his every tune. -The Ocean Star


"Kids can rock out to songs about being a worm and romantic dinosaurs. Yosi's fans are really into his blend of ska, blues, country and reggea. They're also really intosnack time, nap time and bringing their parents to his concerts. They don't really have a choice considering his most senior fans aren't older than 10." - Newport News (VA) Daily Press, Lisa B. Deaderick


KidsMusic.ABOUT.COM

(4 & 1/2 STARS out of 5)

Yosi's "Under a Big Bright Yellow Umbrella" is a masterpiece. I love the combination of songs, Yosi's talent, and his sense of style. One of my favorite tracks is "Train Medley" - "Ridin' on the New River Train", "Down by the Station", "Little Red Caboose", "I've Been Working on the Railroad/Dinah, Won't You Blow", all sung by Yosi's slightly raspy voice in a traditional but upbeat style. Yosi reminds me of Raffi in many ways. Both use multicultural songs and various languages. They have similar voices and musical styles. I love them both. Yosi uses more original music and is more current and much closer to the rock end of the spectrum though. Yosi's songs on this CD range from 'jump up and dance' songs to lullabye type ballads. I believe that most of the songs are original. Besides the "Train Medley" which is a new arrangement, he also uses the traditional children's song "Six Little Monkeys" (the alligator one, not the jumping on the bed one). Yosi is frequently backed up by young children. The least harmonic track is probably the most touching. "That's My Flag" features the voices of several preschoolers. It's adorable. Yosi does a great job of using many styles including rock, blues, pop, traditional, reggae and more. His songs are great for inspiring movement, humor, and thought processes as well as a love of music. Yosi says his music is mostly geared toward preschoolers but I think parents and preteens will enjoy it as well. - Fran Grauman

See: Interview

 

 

   

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