Josh Lovelace may rock out as part of the band NEEDTOBREATHE, but his children’s music sensibilities were crafted by Canada’s Sharon, Lois & Bram. Now branding himself as Young Folk (akin to Andy Ferguson using the Red Yarn monicker), Lovelace has released Moonwalking, his third collection of modern fun and folk tunes for kids.
For many performers, the answer to the question “What did you do during quarantine?” is “I recorded some introspective family music.” For Lovelace, Moonwalking is his first post-pandemic CD and he’s more interested in connecting with his audience than messaging about the ways the world has changed in so short a timeframe. The closest reflection on the recent past is the poppy “Wash Your Hands,” but who hasn’t used that term with their youngsters in the past millennium?
Lovelace perpetuates his obsession with undergarments, first addressed on Young Folks’ first CD on “A Bear in the Woods Ate My Underwear.” On “Rosie Cat,” he addresses an idiosyncratic hope “that she won’t eat my underwear.” He also deals with daughter Margo’s objections to her mother possibly being aquatic on “Mommy’s a Mermaid,” pointing out “While most mommy’s have feet, I think it’s really neat.”
Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers once said – after returning from a world tour, where all his desires and needs were catered to – that the thing keeping him grounded was his wife leaving the garbage for him to take out. And that he had to ask “Where are our outdoor trash cans?” Lovelace seeks to rationalize his existence as a rock performer/father of two on the track “Cool Dad in a Minivan”:
Cool dad in a minivan
I’m going so fast, well as fast as I can
Don’t need no sports car for this practical man
‘Coz I’m a cool dad in a minivan
Moonwalking ends with the one-two gut punch of parental empathy and emphatic awe of “I Believe In You” and “Goodnight, My Dear,” a standard in the Lovelace household that makes its recorded debut here. “Growing up, you will always be enough, and always fall back to my love,” Lovelace sings. You believe that he means every word and accept that the song shares that sentiment with any child uncertain of their abilities. As long as we’re breathing, we remain young folk. Moonwalking puts a spotlight on how alike we all are, asleep, awake, and as a community.
Here is the video of Josh singing, “This Little Light of Mine”: