When you’re been writing, recording, and performing music for five decades, you’re bound to learn a few things. Veteran music artist Peter Alsop has released 22 albums, including his 10th and most recent children’s recording, Camping With Dads. Gather ’round the virtual campfire as Alsop and his comrades crack wise, literally and figuratively, with a diverse range of musical styles and stories.
Part of Peter Alsop’s charm is the “they’ll learn something if you don’t tell ’em it’s educational” aspect of his music. There is a mix of skits and songs on Camping With Dads. The architecture builds the premise, and Alsop manages to hang something outlandish, like “I Brought A Gorilla Home” with more grounded tunes like “You Need A Good Listenin’ To.” And “Bad Dad Jokes” is an a capella performance number with a few groaners thrown in.
Alsop spends time deconstructing some of the boys vs girls myth. On “Anthropologist,” a young female singer recounts how she’s just as capable of becoming an accomplished professional. Widening the circle of caring and respect for women is the fundamental message of “Dads ‘N Boys,” pointing out that previous generations thought nothing about dipping girls pigtails in inkwells in school. Social issues are covered on “Skin Color” (with a lead-in skit between Peter and MLK) and “I Wear Pink,” featuring Steve Denyes of Hullabaloo.
Among the myriad cast of characters on Camping With Dads are Gerald Rivers (who plays Dr. Martin Luther King); lead singer of Rhythm Child Norman Jones, singer/songwriter Stuart Stotts, Peter’s son-in-law actor/director Chad Scheppner, along with grandkids, Quinnlyn (11), Leon (8), and Julius (5). Other child talents include Gabbi and Brodie Beauvais, and Cosmo Bernstein.
The Okee Dokee Brothers have won Grammy awards with albums based around the concept that nature bonds us all together. On Camping With Dads, Alsop takes that tact with everyone is the same when we assemble with sticks to roast marshmallow as the sun sets on a nearby lake. He paints a picture of tranquility, equality, and unity. That’s a pretty fine campfire to build after 45 years of practice.
Here is the video for Peter’s song “All Our Kids”: