Raffi has today released his 14th original album of music for children, Owl Singalong, via Troubadour/Concord/Universal Music Canada.
The album, whose title song was inspired by both the owls Raffi would hear nightly outside his Salt Spring Island home, and by his grand-niece Lucie’s enthusiasm for her stuffed-toy owl, continues Raffi’s commitment to entertain young people in ways that are educational, inspiring, and fun.
Owl Singalong features 16 new tunes, including delightful updates of classics (The More We Sing Together, Dog on the Bus, The Lion Pokey, and Abiyoyo) as well as new compositions, such as the swinging title track, a pair of songs that celebrate the magic of nature: Garden Song, and Blossoms, and the reggae-flavoured Green Dream, an inspiring and hopeful anthem that embodies Raffi’s career-long environmental advocacy.
“Green Dream is an important song for me,” says the artist, who first sang the praises of solar and wind power on Big Beautiful Planet, which was featured on his 1982 album Rise and Shine. “We live with the menace of global climate change, which is the greatest threat to future generations, and the kids who are alive today are gonna face the brunt of that challenge. At the same time, we’re seeing a rapid shift from fossil fuels to green energy technologies. My dream is a green dream for all of the world’s children, something that all families want.”
Critics and bloggers are heralding Raffi’s latest work. Yahoo! Parenting’s Beth Greenfield pronounced the album “joyous” and “jubilant,” while parenting blogger MrJeff2000 noted, “Under the classification of children’s music, Raffi remains almost sui generis, a genre unto himself. Long may he strum.”
Zooglobble’s Stefan Shepherd wrote, “The return of Raffi to the kids music scene has been one of the most pleasant surprises from the past couple years of kids music,” and Kids Home Library proclaimed, “Three cheers for the iconic Raffi, who keeps it fresh, modern, and jazzy with Owl Singalong… With a voice that’s pure and reassuring, Raffi’s 16 songs are satisfying, beautiful and empowering.”
In her profile of Raffi for New York Magazine’sVulture blog, author Sheila Heti wrote, “Just as in my teen years and adulthood, the work of great artists has accompanied me and helped me grow, and enriched the world in so many ways, it was now clear to me that my early childhood, too, had been accompanied by such an artist, one as exacting and sincere and unique as any of them. That was why [Raffi] had mattered to me — and to so many others — even in the years before the word artist could have meant anything.”
Today’s Parent sums it all up: “We’re loving Raffi’s new album, Owl Singalong!”
Besides producing numerous gold and platinum albums and performing countless sold-out concerts, Raffi has also emerged as a respected advocate on behalf of children, lending his voice, insight and experience to a number of crucial issues. For several years, he has devoted much of his time and energy to his vision of Child Honouring, an original holistic philosophy for creating a humane and sustainable world by addressing the universal needs of children and a unifying principle for restoring human and natural communities.
A recipient of the Order of Canada, the Order of British Columbia, and the United Nations’ Earth Achievement Award, Raffi also holds four honorary degrees. He is associated with many NGOs, including the Darwin Project Council, the Center for Partnership Studies, the Center for Children’s Health and the Environment, and the Fraser Mustard Institute for Human Development.