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Buck Howdy's going to round up the kids

September 24, 2007|Lynne Heffley

Dan Zanes, Ralph Covert, Jason Ringenberg -- children's music of late has been infused with the offbeat, pop-folk vibe of many former indie rockers.

And then there's Buck Howdy. Raised on a cattle ranch, now wrangling turkeys on his farm in Virginia and songs at his second home in San Diego, this real-life cowboy singer is captivating fans of all ages with his zany humor and campfire singalong style.

His first two CDs -- "Skidaddle!" and "Giddyup!" -- spawned music videos on Noggin TV and national tours. His family show, "Cow Pie Radio," is heard on XM Satellite Radio and 30 radio stations nationwide. A new CD, "Chickens," being released this week from Prairie Dog Entertainment, adds big band swing to the mix, thanks to partner BB (Pam Cypel), a veteran jazz and commercial singer.

The duo will perform a family concert at 11 a.m. Sunday at Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga.

"Our family used to drive around and have the radio on, and pretty much anything you heard on the radio was OK for family listening," Howdy said of his decision to try his hand at children's music. "Unfortunately, these days that's not necessarily the case. I really just started off doin' a record that my kids could listen to. And all of a sudden it caught on and got bigger than I ever expected."

BB is responsible for the more sophisticated approach reflected on "Chickens," he said.

"There's still those campfire songs that get like ear worms and you can't forget 'em, and that's always going to be a part of what we do," he said. "But it was sure fun getting the horns and saxophones and stuff and doing a little bigger sound, a little more complexity."

-- Lynne Heffley

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