One of the things that I’ve discovered this past year is that there is a wealth of children’s performers in Australia and New Zealand that I previously hadn’t heard a lot about here in the States. But with performers across the globe embracing the digital market, that is changing. A couple of months ago I was introduced to the talented, Australia-based Benny Time and would like to share his latest effort with you. For his fourth children’s album, Ben Thatcher (aka Benny Time) skillfully combines themes to create songs that speak to the beauty of nature while applauding the fact that we are all unique (“The River, The Mountain”), emphasize the importance of reusing and recycling so that the world and its inhabitants can be happy (the gospel backed “A Little Recycling Adventure”), and celebrating how wonderful each of us is but how much better we are when we’re together (“How Great We Are”). Along the way, Thatcher treats us to three versions (punk, surf, and beat) of the tune “Cars Are Everywhere” and the delightful “He Needs to Wee” about a boy who just as he is about to walk on Mars, talk with a dolphin, or find the end of the rainbow, realizes – like so many young children – he needs to wee.
Not only is Benny and Friends a wonderful showcase for Thatcher’s lovely vocals and spot on songwriting, but it also is a solid introduction to children’s music performers from that area of the world. Throughout the album Benny is joined by Australian songsters The Beanies, The Tiptoe Giants, Lah-Lah, and Justine Clarke as well as New Zealand standouts Claudia Robin Gunn and Itty Bitty Beats. Not limiting the album to just his friends in the southern hemisphere, it is New York’s own East Coast Inspirational Singers who bring the soul to recycling.
Benny and Friends will be available this Friday on all the usual streaming services. For a little taste of what is to come, take a listen to “Little Grey Cloud (It’s ok to Cry)” a song about grief and sadness that is sure to touch your heart.