We're Not Kidding
by Barry Louis Polisar
This 2-disc release won a 2010 Parents' Choice Award as well as a National Parenting Publication Gold Award and a starred review in Booklist Magazine,published by the American Library Association. The album features over one hundred artists from around the world covering Barry's songs. Sixty songs have been compiled by Aaron Cohen of The Radioactive Chicken Heads and re-imagined and performed by musicians in genres as diverse as hip-hop, folk, jazz, klezmer and rock. Aaron had Barry's recordings as a child--and so did many of the artists on this brand new album.
Detailed information on each artist is available by clicking on their photos below.
Click titles below to hear the songs.
Some of the artists on the album are:
The Vespers from Nashville, Tennessee first recorded Barry's song Barnyard Stomp. Their two voices blend together perfectly for this beautiful sounding cover; they then went back into the studio months later to record an inspired cover of Barry's song All I Want is You which was used in the movie Juno.
"Polisar has been writing for generations of kids. In this two-CD tribute album, a wildly diverse bunch of worthy performers covers 60 of his songs. The arrangements are invigorating, and it's especially fun to hear some songs covered more than once in starkly different renditions. Highly recommended for young and old alike."
– Booklist, Starred Review
"A must for Polisar fans."
– School Library Journal
DeLeon is a Brooklyn, New York based band, fronted by Daniel Saks. Dan Saks and Kevin Snider were early fans of Barry's music growing up and the band has recorded an engaging cover of Barry's My Brother Thinks He's a Banana, weaving in a wonderful Sephardic melody...and then just for fun also covered Barry's My Name is Hiram Lipshlitz
"Precisely the kind of oddball, nonsense humor that young kids adore: an amazing gathering of brilliant talent from around the country--and the world. This might become your family's favorite children's album."
– Parents' Choice Foundation
Alyssa Robbins of New York is another artist who listened to Barry's songs growing up. She records With a Giggle and a Hug and a Tickle and a Kiss with her beautiful voice and arrangement. Alyssa went back into the studio to record a multi-track version of Barry's song Giggle Tickle Fiddle Little Wiggle Around.
"This 60-song, 2-disc homage is a wide-ranging tribute of fun classics from the Polisar canon."
– New York's Newsday
Deborah Berman and the Nogoodniks are a New York based group who have recorded a Klezmer version of Barry's song Don't Put Your Finger Up Your Nose sung entirely in Yiddish. This wonderfully inspired rendition is called Shtek Nit Dayn Finger in Der Noz. Deborah was an early fan, listening to Barry's songs on his original recordings.
"Deliciously subversive musical humor. Hand this to a fan of alternative rock without mentioning Polisar's kids' song roots, and they'll never know the difference."
– Kathy O'Connell, Metro Kids, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
and host of Kids Corner on WXPN Radio
Evan Polisar teamed up with Cesar Cartagena to record a jazzed up version of I'd Be Me complete with piano, drums, and dueling saxophones. Based in the Washington, DC suburbs, the two met in High School in Montgomery County, Maryland. As a child, Evan was subjected to endless hours of listening to Barry's music with his twin sister, Sierra.
"A bonanza, this two-CD tribute includes all the best songs of much-loved kids performer-songwriter Barry Louis Polisar. A fine tribute, it also leads you to pull out Polisar's originals and enjoy 'em again."
– Sing Out! Magazine
"Polisar has gained legendary status in children's music...This massive tribute album has been re-imagined, rewritten and rearranged by some of today's most interesting Indie artists."
Ham And Burger from New York City have recorded Barry's song Don't Put Your Finger Up Your Nose with a new techno-pop rhythm. They have also recorded Barry's You Can't Say "Psbpsbpsb" on the Radio and Danny Rockett, a fan who had Barry's albums growing up, expands the song with some extra verses that Barry thinks make it even funnier than the original.
"While the attention given to children's music typically focuses on the newer artists, I think it is important to remember some of the pioneers of this genre. And no one represents a "founding father" of the genre better than Barry Louis Polisar. This album is truly a delight. "
– Nugget Island Review
Kid Kazooey and His One-Man Klezmorkestra Band from Bloomington, Indiana has recorded two great covers of Barry's songs for the tribute album. The Kid, aka Kevin MacDowell, had many of Barry's recordings growing up in Fort Wayne, Indiana and does covers of I've Got a Teacher, She's So Mean and He Eats Asparagus, Why Can't You Be That Way?
"The songs I've spun thus far have been uniformly winning."
– Zooglobble Kids and Family Music Review
"This 60-song, two-disc tribute is an amazing collection of brilliant talent performing songs from one of the best songwriters around."
– Chattanooga Parent Magazine
"There are few genres more earnest than children's music, but thankfully, Polisar finds room for self-deprecation."
– Washington City Paper, Washington, DC
"On this phenomenal two-disc set, there are enough unquestionably great songs to fill several regular-length albums. We're Not Kidding! is a smorgasbord of musical styles...and a testament to Polisar's songwriting."
– Parent Dish
"An amazing collection of brilliant talent performing songs from one of the best songwriters around. We love this CD...and we're not kidding."
– Lunchbox Magazine
"A tribute album bursting with talent and variety and high quality throughout."
– The Art of Irreverence
"Polisar's music and lyrics have a timeless quality that continues to touch the heart and soul of what it's like to be a child today. We're Not Kidding! is a delightful compilation of songs, at times hysterical and even touching. It is an album that not only traverses the years, but all age groups as well. "
– The Examiner, Washington, DC
"As soon as we played the album, the phones lit up with folks asking where they could get their hands on the compilation....wonderful interpretations on both discs."
– Peter Jones, Tell Us a Story Radio Hour
"A wonderful family-friendly tribute album to a long-standing kidfolk icon. Barry has made a name for himself as an award-winning kids entertainer and a strong proponent of imagination and literacy; his songs have been featured on NPR, School Library Journal, Newsweek, and on endless rotation on my CD player, and their titles speak for themselves...this is a fabulously fun album, and a fine showcase for the oddly endearing talents and songs of the long-standing children's entertainer."
– Cover Lay Down. com
"A tremendous album representing an even more tremendous body of work, this album has been well worth the wait."
– Randy Astle, Red Balloon Review of Childrens Media
"This album makes a good case for Polisar as a genuine innovator. He was writing kids songs before that niche market had a name, and before cable television stations turned kid-centric entertainment into big business. In the realm of children's entertainment, Polisar is anything but an underground performer. He has won four Parents' Choice Awards and has written over a dozen books, one of which won a Parents' Guide Award for Outstanding Children's Books."
– Howard County Times
"A spectacular collection of talent from across the U.S. and as far away as Greece."
– The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, New York
"What can be better than having your song from a 30-year old album plucked from obscurity and used in the opening credit sequence of an Oscar-winning movie and Grammy-winning Soundtrack album? How about being re-united by fans who had your records when they were kids and now– as musicians– have gone into the studio and recorded sixty of their favorite songs for a 2-CD Tribute Album!"
– Guitar International Magazine
"A brilliant collection that will bring hours of entertainment for years to come."
– Oregon Music News
John Winfield Blake is contributing Barry's I Never Rode The Railroads to the Tribute Album. Barry wrote the song back in 1975 and it was recorded the following summer on a reel to reel tape by the legendary singer John Winfield Blake. In early 2009, the classic recording of Barry's song re-surfaced and here it is.
"This CD is literally overflowing with fun, and funny, music that will have you tapping your feet and singing along. Most of the bands and singers on this CD grew up listening to Polisar, and cite him as a big influence, so they know and love these songs. You and your kids will love them too."
– A River Runs Through It Review
"Lampooning jocularity and top drawer production values and creativity. The subject matter throughout pulls no punches, speaking to kids on a level most adults don't quite understand. The musicianship and vocals are stratospheric, the whole vibe stuffed full of fun and jokestering, and nary a moment passes that you're not wallowing in a surfeit of memories 'n grins."
– Folk & Acoustic Music Review
The Radioactive Chicken Heads from Los Angeles, California have recorded covers of Barry's songs over the years. Included here are: I Eat Kids, I Wanna Be a Dog, Underwear and I Looked Into the Mirror (What Did the Mirror Say?). Lead singer Aaron Cohen had Barry's albums growing up and is the creative spirit behind the Tribute Album. He teams up with Barry to share alternating vocals on I Didn't Mean To.
"Polisar has made a career of writing smart, engaging music and books for children. "We're Not Kidding" is a rich trove of songs that are good natured, subtle, sometimes goofy and often humorous. Given the sheer amount of material here, it's impressive how strong most of it is, largely because Polisar presupposes that kids are intelligent."
– The Hartford Courant, Hartford, Connecticut
"Smart children's songs that reflect the scope of Polisar's influence."
– The Daily Press Newport News, Virginia
"A rich trove of songs that kids will love."
– California Chronicle
"I grew up listening to Barry Louis Polisar. Now decades later he's still winning over new listeners. These are perfect songs for those summer road trips."
– Mom Trends
"Polisar is well known in offbeat music circles, thanks to decades spent performing his own unique brand of clever and edgy children's folk songs. This reverence is evidenced in the 60-song, two-disc tribute album."
– The Northern California Jewish Weekly
"Barry Louis Polisar's rocking, rollicking and hilarious children's music is exactly what you need for a summer roadtrip. The songs are funny and irreverent and cheerful and this 60 tune collection will take you from Maine to South of the Border and keep you laughing the whole way. Barry has been honored with Grammy Awards, Emmy Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Children's Music Web, and this tribute album shows why. It's eclectic and surprising. You will make yourself three mix tapes from this collection alone."
– Babies Gotta Have It
"Those of you who had a deprived childhood may not know Barry's songs and stories. He's been making smart, witty, deep, funny, silly music for kids for over three decades. He cracked me up in 1975. He cracks me up now."
– Kim Cooper Findling, Blooming Eventually Blog
"As much fun for adults as kids. Polisar's songs are like pebbles thrown into a lake; the ripples continue to reverberate, culminating in this 60-track double CD tribute."
– Driftwood Magazine
"Barry Louis Polisar is in a class of his own. He writes the absolute best songs for kids. There are sixty cuts on this two-disc set, and every one of them is a treat. It's the best album of kids tunes for adults ever!"
– Technorati Entertainment
"It was delightful to hear my old favorites– and some new ones– rendered so beautifully. Every track is so creative and brilliant...a shining ode to your playful work."
– Roy L, fan since childhood
"Kids all over remember Barry's songs fondly, and now sing them gleefully as adults. Some people never grow up and we are very glad! "
– Kids Public Radio, The Network for Kids
Barry Louis Polisar has recorded a never released version of The Tushie Song for this project, backed up by the Barry Louis Polisar Self-Aggrandizement Choir. Also included on this album is the original tag ending for Barry's song from Juno, All I Want is You. This ending was not featured in the movie or the soundtrack recording