Uncle Rock
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Uncle Rock

| INDIE | AFM

| INDIE | AFM
Band Folk Children's Music

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Music

Press


"A star among the young!"

Former stay-at-home dad and member of rock bands is a star among the young, inspired by Roald Dahl and Shel Silverstein. - New York Times


"Rocking songs tickle mom and dad too"

What makes a great children's artist? Balance, basically: More wit and less treacle helps satisfy parents terrified of Raffi, but the hipsters who've recently invaded Kidland often seem to forget that the kids still matter most. Hudson Valley-based strummer Robert Burke Warren - AKA Uncle Rock - gets this - his wooly, funny songs narrate the world from a child's persepcative. And because they're so unapologetically rocking; dude used to be in the Fleshtones, for goodness sake - songs like "Shoe Bandit" and "Playin' Possum" tickle mom and dad too. - LA Times


"something pure"

There's something pure about Uncle Rock: he's just a dude having fun with a guitar. He makes sure listeners share his enthusiasm. - Cookie Magazine


"For kids' music with an edge, Uncle Rock is your go-to guy"

For kids' music with an edge, Uncle Rock is your go-to guy! - NY Post


"Upbeat, flat-out fun"

American kids have it tough when it comes to finding good music. Consider the stale porridge out there. For generations, mealymouthed characters from Howdy Doody to Barney have served up defanged folk tunes or syrupy nursery rhymes while extolling good conduct and the blessings of conformity. Raffi was another blight on the landscape until Dan Zanes of the Del Fuegos began making the younger generation boogie.

The Hudson Valley’s Uncle Rock (aka Chronogram’s Robert Burke Warren) stands among the few artists whose music speaks to kids, not at them. His third CD, Uncle Rock U., mines folk, funk, and rootsrock for 17 upbeat, flat-out fun tunes that celebrate polar bears, fire engines, grumpy neighbors, and more. There’s ample reason for Uncle Rock’s startling range: In addition to having been a preschool teacher’s assistant, Warren was bassist for The Fleshtones, a legendary New York garage band. As evidenced by the children singing along on this CD, Uncle Rock (and his agile backup band) knows how to get a kid’s party revved up—without the condescension that often mars this genre, and minus any cynical asides inserted for restless adults.

Uncle Rock’s deceptively simple compositions invite comparison to the work of old-time troubadours like Woody Guthrie. Without finger-wagging, he manages to quietly slip in some good-sense messages about self-esteem (“Captain Courage Theme”), animal conservation (“It’s a Bat!”), and buying organically and locally (“There’s Love in My Food”). And I double-dog dare you to stand still when he strums the awesome “ Superhero Medley.” - Chronogram


"Saying Uncle, Emphatically"

We love Uncle Rock. Love him. Looooove him. And if you like your kids music in the form of good ol' acoustic American rock, you're going to love him too.

The Uncle (aka Robert Burke Warren) is now out with his third children's album, Uncle Rock U. The 17 head-bobbing tracks include fun remixes of his popular Too Many Presents and Predator Dinosaur along with plenty of new goodies that parents and kids can enjoy together. While there's a lot to like here, I really dig the surprisingly folksy There's Love in This Food which has that easy, repetitive melody of a favorite olde time-y children's song tune your grandparents might have taught you.

This is not some cynical hipster rock album marketed to families wary of kids music; it really is made for children--there are even a few songs with kids singing backup in the least annoying way possible, I promise. And there's enough edge that parents won't hate it on the 137th listen.

Besides, how can you not love an album that includes a medley of all your favorite superhero theme songs?

- CoolMomPicks.com


"He immediately wins kids over."

Part of his gift is the way he doesn’t dumb-down his material. He may sing about childish things, but it’s not done childishly. By using as his point of entry a child’s perspective—the way a kid will pretend to be asleep in bed at night until the parent leaves the room, for example, in “Playin’ Possum”; or the who?me? aspect of a sugar buzz that turns a normal tyke into the Tasmanian Devil, in “Sugar Talkin’”—he immediately wins kids over because they sense he’s on their side, that he’s got their back. There are a lot of talented children’s artists currently performing, but many of them tend more towards the preachy/educational side of songwriting or rely on silly outfits and gimmicky props. That’s all well and good, but at the same time, all you really need to entertain a group of kids are (a) catchy songs with good melodies and memorable choruses; (b) lyrics they can relate to; and (c) a friendly, charismatic stage presence. Warren’s has all that, in spades. - Harp


Discography

2006's "Plays Well With Others," and 2007's "Uncle Rock U." have put Uncle Rock in the Top 10 of Sirius Satellite Radio's Channel 116 Kids Stuff for over a year. Consistent high rotation for "I'm A Pirate!," "Playin' Possum" "Sugar Talkin'" and "Play Outside Today."

Photos

Bio

Uncle Rock draws inspiration from Maurice Sendak, The Beatles, Woody Guthrie and Shel Silverstein, taking his acoustic “rock of all ages” to clubs, libraries, bookstores, schools, and theaters. Many of the catchy, rhythmically propulsive songs were born at his day job as a teacher’s assistant for preschoolers, where he landed after four years as a stay-at-home dad. Uncle Rock delivers plenty of celebratory, goofy singalongs, but the material doesn't shy away from shadowy elements of life, often showing how music can help one to face the dragon in the closet.

Uncle Rock's CDs of family music have won critical praise from The L.A. Times, The New York Times, and Cookie Magazine, to name a few. As of 2008, he has spent over a year in the Top 10 of Sirius Satellite Radio's Channel 116 Kids Stuff.

Before being dubbed "Uncle Rock" by his nephew, he went by his given name of Robert Burke Warren, playing bass in many rock and roll bands, including international garage rock titans The Fleshtones. He also spent a year portraying Buddy Holly in Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story in London's West End, and soon thereafter released an acclaimed debut CD ...to this day, cited by The World Cafe’s David Dye as “a gem of an album.” This led to co-writing with Rosanne Cash on her Grammy-nominated CD Rules Of Travel. Yet Uncle Rock is far and away the most fun he’s ever had.