Parents Who Rock Releases 2nd CD, "Let 'Em Play," To Benefit Music Education

Parents Who Rock has released its second CD, "Let 'Em Play," with the goal of raising money to get more music instruction in the public schools. The CD features 23 performances by PWR solo performers, bands and other combos recorded over the course of 2008 at various PWR fundraisers—including the spring fundraiser, which helped net the more than $150,000 needed for the All Children’s Playground now nearing completion in the town’s Edgemont Park—as well as in studio sessions.

The CD, which includes 12 originals and 11 cover songs, was produced by PWR’s Dave Cushing at Snowdome Studios in Montclair. Music industry veteran Greg Calbi, of Sterling Sound in New York, who has mastered classic albums by Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, U2 and REM, and also lives in Montclair, volunteered to master the CD. Apart from raising money for a great cause, "Let 'Em Play" is well worth listening to, Calbi says. "There are songs on this CD that are as good as anything you’ll hear on radio today," he says.

The CD is the follow-up to last year’s successful PWR debut, "Go Play Outside." Cushing describes the second offering as "a little rock 'n roll, a little Americana, a little country, a little roots, a little world music—it’s even got a little something for kids—and a lot for grown-ups. Last year there were 12 different artists; this year there are 22, with more than 60 musicians playing on it, so more people get exposure and get to support the cause."

This year the cause is trying to increase music education in the Montclair schools, and to achieve that PWR has partnered with Little Kids Rock, a nationwide nonprofit organization that provides guitars, basses and drums to children as well as music training for teachers.

Alma Schneider, the founder of Parents Who Rock, says the group wants to raise $50,000 for the Montclair schools. Every $100 raised brings another musical instrument into the schools and provides training for a teacher to work with a child for one year. Little Kids Rock has established chapters in 18 cities, and has reached more than 25,000 children, according to David Wish, founder and executive director. Wish has lived in Montclair since 2001. Schneider says partnering with Little Kids Rock made sense because both she and Wish had similar goals in mind. "A lot of the work Parents Who Rock does is with at-risk or underprivileged kids," she says. "And while we live in a very privileged community, there's a whole segment of the population here that doesn't have all the benefits, all the opportunities other children have, and that's why we’re doing this. That is where I feel we can make a difference."

The CD will be sold at local stores.

"Go Play Outside," the organization's debut CD, released in 2007, sold more than 1,000 copies and raised money for Montclair's All Children's Playground, which will allow typical children and those with special needs to play on universal equipment. In addition to selling the CD, PWR plans to raise money for Little Kids Rock through House Gig Parties - where residents volunteer to plan and host a fundraising party and are entertained by a Parents Who Rock performer—and with a large spring benefit show.

Parents Who Rock is a non-profit association of musicians and others based in Montclair, NJ, who volunteer their time and talents onstage and behind the scenes to raise money for non-for-profit organizations throughout the community. Many Parents Who Rock performers are former musicians who put aside their guitars and drums when they had families and then, years later, rediscovered their instruments and stepped up to the microphones once again to raise money for good causes. The group is always looking for new volunteers.

Over the past four years, fundraising events featuring PWR artists and other volunteers, working with the Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence (MFEE), have netted more then $200,000 for such organizations and causes as the All Children's Playground, Mountainside Hospital Breast Cancer Education Center, the Montclair Rape Crisis Center, the Montclair Public Schools Developmental Learning Center, Volunteer Lawyers for Justice, Family Service League and many more.

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