Welcome to the Music Thursdays segment! Each week here on Geek Alabama, Music Thursdays will feature music related content. Music Thursdays will feature an artist or band and their latest song and / or music video. People love music, and we here at Geek Alabama love featuring artists and bands!
Happily Ever Now, the first album for children and families from Vermont’s critically acclaimed musician and composer Raphael Groten (a.k.a “G’Raph”), is dedicated to the cultivation of kindness, joy, love, living in the present moment, and the art of having fun NOW! Happily Ever Now is now out.
At the root of Raphael Groten’s longstanding vision and two decades of work as a music educator echoes the question, “Why wait for the ultimate line of the story, ‘happily ever after,’ to get happy?’” The time to come alive is now. Happily Ever Now is a musical anthology of the moment, with songs of health, humility, and adventure, along with a grand dose of downright silliness.
Embracing styles that range from folk, blues, soul, and rock, to funk, reggae/ska, country, and world, Happily Ever Now takes the listener on an excursion with a delight around every bend in the road. A highlight is the title track, which celebrates the most important teaching of the album, to be fully present in each moment. In the universal mode of the folk-tale tradition, the lyrics journey from G’Raph’s youth to adulthood and reconstruct the central epiphany of his life – the value of living “Happily Ever Now.”
Some performers use everything but the “kitchen sink,” some even include the kitchen sink, but G’Raph goes even further in his “smooth groove” soul-funk album opener, “Hands in the Water,” when he adds the BATHROOM sink to the mix. G’Raph’s upside-down, inside-out way of looking at life is captured in “I Can Eat a Rainbow,” which bops along with quixotic alacrity and introduces a brave new world of gustatory distinction. In the world of G’Raph, a song like this requires a sonic panorama that includes his plates, silverware, and toaster, along with steel string guitar, cavaquinho, kalimba, bass, djembe, cowbell, shaker, cajón, bells, gong, triangle, zinger toy, and vocal hi-hat.
The gentle lullaby “I Love You Baby,” written for G’Raph’s first son, is also a tip of the G’Raph hat to his love of old-time jazz. Here, he not only retains his childlike sense of wonder, but also uses his childhood wood blocks and baby rattle. “I’m Not pErfect” honors G’Raph’s folk/country music roots and follows the idea of Mozart’s “Musical Joke,” using imperfections like wrong chords and cracked vocal tones that will have listeners of all ages rolling in the aisles while kids learn essential life-lessons about imperfection and humility.
Raphael Groten’s previous albums for adults include the highly praised Star Lullaby (2019) and Journey Home (2015), both in the New Age acoustic genre. He will release Potential, an album in the World Groove genre, in September 2021.
Happily Ever Now will be available at www.raphaelgroten.com, iTunes, Amazon, Apple Music, and wherever music is sold online.