There is a new beacon of goodness in the land of children's entertainment and it is all thanks to the enchanting reality created by Woody's World. The brainchild of musician and early education teacher Woody Clark, Woody's World embraces the need for good music for young and old, with strong hooks and important messages. The debut album Good Morning Kids is just that, an album that is jam-packed full of songs that kids will love, and adults won't be able to stop singing along to. It is the proverbial entire package featuring beautiful instrumentation, soulful lyrics and stunning artwork. Good Morning Kids is destined to be one of those albums that influences a generation.
Although the creative output of Woody Clark, the album itself is a family affair, featuring inspiration from three generations of Clarks – Woody's parents and his children. Knowing that he was in part recording the album for his own children – and those children he spends time teaching in the classroom each week – it was an auspicious responsibility to make sure he got the concepts and sound of Good Morning Kids exactly right. For this multi-instrumentalist, it wasn't about -creating music for children', it was just about creating great music that audiences of any ages could resonate with.
'There is a lot of great music in the children's genre, but there is also a lot of -plastic music', created with programmed instruments and with superficial content and lyrics," says Woody. 'I was very clear from the start that I wanted to create an album with broad appeal, one that had themes for everyone. The musicianship and diversity of instrumentation, plus the mix of styles and intergeneration input has really worked for this recording and helped make Good Morning Kids very accessible. Many parents have thanked me for making an album that they love as much as their children."
Good Morning Kids has been a labour of love. While the actual recording process (from demoing to mastering) took about two years, the -gestation' period for the album was much longer. It harks back to Woody's childhood, growing up in a musical family, and then raising a family of his own. 'All these experiences have inspired the songs on the album," he says. 'It has only been recently that I have had the space to pursue music in a committed way – in my mid-30s – and the result is Good Morning Kids and the various live shows we tour."
The 17 tracks that make up the album are a collection from Woody's life so far. Starting with an ode to the morning, the album is a journey which wrap-ups aptly with the final track Good Night Everybody. Two tracks are taken from his father's recordings – songs that his musician Dad wrote and recorded when Woody was a child – and have a resonance with how he views the world today. Other tracks have been inspired by his 14 years as an educator, both in and out of the classroom. The tracks have an emotional core, featuring concepts of parenting, family life and cultivating music in the lives of his children. All in all, the songs appearing on Good Morning Kids were penned between 1974 and 2012.
With a musical upbringing himself, it is no surprise that Woody has raised his children with the same ethos. Their musicality shines through even at such a young age and so it was something of a natural progression that they too feature on the recordings of Good Morning Kids. 'There are so many magical moments in this album that I am proud of," says Woody. 'My daughters singing together, all the kids having fun on the recording, great musicianship and arrangements, and moments of reverence. The songs tell stories about everyday life, the life of children and parents, so there is something for everyone. I wanted a nice balance on the Good Morning Kids album – pockets of fun and excitement, and moments of emotion. I wanted to make the best album I could, so I didn't think about any other limitations."
Good Morning Kids was recorded between Alpine Street Studios and Oaklands Productions. It was produced between Woody and co-collaborators Damien Charles and Hue Blanes. The album was mastered at Sing Sing Studios by Ross Cockle. The artwork was designed by renowned artist Katz Cowley.
Woody is currently working on his next Woody's World project, an album aptly titled The Family Band, which is being driven through a Pozible campaign and is set for release in 2016. Woody's World has also been turned into a captivating live show featuring a full band and life-like puppets.
Woody's World Good Morning Kids is independently released and distributed and is available now. For more information, visit www.woodysworld.com.au