Affectionately nicknamed "the Grateful Dead for kids," Ben Rudnick & Friends create a jam band dynamic that takes their concerts and recordings to a stratospheric level. The band's instantly identifiable brand of adventurous musicianship soars across a spectrum of bluegrass, western swing, reggae, country, folk, and the many flavors of rock. Kids' music authority Stefan Shepherd (Zooglobble.com) enthused, "The band just sounds GOOD."
Love is a Superpower is Ben Rudnick & Friends at the very top of their game. The album blends the vivacious spontaneity and ebullient creativity of the band's live shows with the intricately layered textures that are possible in a highly crafted studio recording. Add stellar contributions from guest artists like Antiguan master bassist M'talewa Thomas (Entrain, Grateful Dread), fiddler Kenny Kosek (James Taylor, Jerry Garcia, Willie Nelson), trombonist Jon Garniss (Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, The Four Tops), trumpet player Rick Hammett (Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, The Temptations), and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Bird (Cowboy Junkies) to the mix, and you have one remarkable CD with such sophisticated underpinning that repeat listening becomes an adventure.
Ben Rudnick & Friends take pleasure in introducing kids and families to music that reflects the many hues of our cultural fabric. On Love is a Superpower can be found music inspired by classic performances of '70s soul and funk, The Beatles, The Allman Brothers, T. Rex, and The Grateful Dead, paired with an intelligent retrospective of earlier, thoroughly American musical styles that include traditional bluegrass and country and a particularly authentic salute to Bob Wills style western swing. The result: kids and grownups listening, learning, singing, and dancing together, sharing a sense of community fun.
Notes Ben Rudnick, "It's amazing to realize that families are strengthening their bonds while they enjoy our tunes. Our new album has a loose theme of 'Love.' What do I want to express? I wish people would love each other more, trust a bit more, have more confidence and self worth, be generally happy, take care of the world a bit better, get a little silly, and like western swing. In my twelfth year of making music for families, I feel incredibly fortunate to get to play as many shows for as many people as I do and to have been able to make recordings galore. I want to be sure to say the things I want to say while I have the chance. Love is a superpower! Love each other!"
Ben Rudnick & Friends have been joyfully laying down the sound track of families having fun together since 2000. The band's previous albums include Live in Lexington: Under the Copper Beech (2011), It's Santa Claus! (2010), A Frog Named Sam (2009), The Challenger Baseball Song and Other Hits (2007), Grace's Bell (2007), Live at the Playground: WERS 88.9 FM Boston (2005), Blast Off! (2004), Fun and Games (2002), and Emily Songs (2000).