New York’s critically acclaimed Paper Canoe Companywill release Beanstalk Jack, a musical retelling of the classic tale of “Jack and the Beanstalk” adapted as a folk-rock opera for todays families, on February 2, 2018.
Featuring Paper Canoe co-founder Tami Stronach, known to millions for her haunting performance as The Childlike Empress in the iconic 1984 film, The Neverending Story, Beanstalk Jack references the American tradition of folk music that embraces a powerful message, and then shifts to include ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s-style pop and rock, seasoned with a laid-back, bluesy element.
Says Tami Stronach, “We know the rules. The rules are you aren’t supposed to make albums anymore. Albums aren’t supposed to be narrative. Kids’ music is supposed to be funny, sweet, cute, and musically ground floor. We wanted to break all those rules. We made a full-length, A-side B-side concept album that tells an amazing story. We wanted it to be great music first, great storytelling second, and third, to let families connect to nostalgic American musical traditions from the folksy protest music of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger through to the classic rock/pop sounds of the ’80s.”
Beanstalk Jack tells the story of “Jack and the Beanstalk” with the addition of a refreshing girl-meets-boy twist, a tribute to the spirit of optimism, and more than a hint of youthful rebellion. Jack, our intrepid hero, armed with his six-string guitar, climbs the beanstalk to seek his fortune. At the summit of the towering vegetation, Jack meets the giant’s daughter, Harmony, a bright star just waiting for the right band to come along. He steals Harmony’s heart, and they run away to follow their dreams and make music together, leaving the greedy giant to languish in the celestial dust.
Album highlights include the Beatles-esque “Beanstalk Jack” and a genial nod to Dolly Parton on “Let Me Be.” “Bestest Bargain” cruises along courtey of some fine Simon and Garfunkel-ish vocal harmonies, while “Lucky Jack” channels Woody Guthrie and explodes with some very fancy fiddling. The rousing, ’80s-influenced dance party number, “Hey Wow,” is guaranteed to have children of all ages up on their feet and moving. Of course, any musical retelling of “Jack and the Beanstalk” must have a “Fee Fi Fo Fum” song for the giant, and the Beanstalk Jack version was inspired by Tom Waits.
Beanstalk Jack will be available for download at digital retailers such as iTunes, Amazon Digital, Google Play, Bandcamp, and more. Physical CDs will be available at Amazon and Bandcamp.
Paper Canoe Company on YouTube.