Ralph Covert plays kids music unlike any youve ever heard. There are no cloying rhymes in his songs, and he doesnt play grown-up tunes that adults think children might like. Covert -- who performs as Ralphs World with a full rock and roll band -- makes plugged-in music that kids and their parents can unabashedly shake their heads to. Theres not much difference between writing for kids and adults, he says. You just need to tie into the needs and emotions of your audience.
Covert is a member of Chicagos Bad Examples, one of the citys most popular power-pop bar bands. About a decade ago, when his daughter was a toddler, Covert taught a music program designed for little ones. The first time I did it was the first time I had stage fright in 20 years, he laughs. Covert still sings and plays guitar in the Bad Examples, but his morning and afternoon tot-rock gigs -- which include a solid repertoire of songs like All I Want to Do Is Play and Riding With No Hands -- is the bigger hit. I come in smelling like a barroom [from the night before] sometimes, he says. This is just a natural extension of what I do.
Sat., March 10, 10 a.m.