SCCA will rock for kids

Published 11:03 pm Friday, November 21, 2008

Ralph Covert has one goal during a show: to rock.

And just because Covert’s average concertgoer has yet to reach middle school, that doesn’t stop him from reaching his goal.

“We want to provide a real rock concert experience for little kids to share with their parents,” Covert said.

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The creative force behind Ralph’s World, playing at 11 a.m. today at the Suffolk Center for the Cultural Arts, Covert has made a career out of creating high-quality music for children to jam to.

“I think kids’ music errs on the side of undervaluing kids’ ability to enjoy good stuff,” he said. “What we try to do is, instead of dumbing it down for kids, smarten it up, make it that much better, so kids like it.”

“I think it’s great, because then the parents love it, as well.”

Covert got his start in the world of children’s music when he became a parent himself.

After touring the U.S. and parts of Europe with his band, “The Bad Examples,” Covert settled down in Chicago following the birth of his daughter, Fiona.

He was asked to teach a “mommy and me” type music class at a school where he had previously taught some songwriting classes.

“It seemed like a great change to make music and hang out with other parents and other kids,” Covert said.

What he didn’t plan on was how much he would enjoy the process. In fact, by the time his daughter had graduated from the class, Covert wanted to keep on leading.

“I was having such a good time with it,” he said, “I was going to keep doing it, because it was fun.”

Soon, Covert was asked to perform at special events and concerts. At one concert, a friend heard his material and asked him if he wanted to record a CD.

“I didn’t feel like it was left turn in my career, I felt like it was an extension of what I do in different areas,” Covert said.

Today, he has recorded eight albums and travels the country bringing a show that aims to entertain everyone in the family.

“Mostly, we’re providing a genuine, fun, rock-concert experience for kids and their parents,” Covert said. Plus, he said, the music goes beyond one certain genre.

“That’s part of the fun of it,” he said. “We’ll do everything from rock songs to country songs to surf songs to a rumba. The kids don’t care. They don’t expect to put it in neat little boxes, they like it because it’s fun.”

Tickets for today’s show are $7 for children and $15 for adults. For more information and products from Ralph’s World, visit