Title - Happily Ever Now
Artist - G’Raph
Happily Ever Now (releasing October 1st, 2021), the first album for children and families from Vermont’s critically acclaimed musician and composer Raphael Groten (a.k.a “G’Raph”), is dedicated to the cultivation of kindness, joy, love, living in the present moment, and the art of having fun NOW!
At the root of Raphael Groten’s longstanding vision and two decades of work as a music educator echoes the question, “Why wait for the ultimate line of the story, ‘happily ever after,’ to get happy?’”
The time to come alive is now. Happily Ever Now is a musical anthology of the moment, with songs of health, humility, and adventure, along with a grand dose of downright silliness.
Embracing styles that range from folk, blues, soul, and rock, to funk, reggae/ska, country, and world, Happily Ever Now takes the listener on an excursion with a delight around every bend in the road.
A highlight is the title track, which celebrates the most important teaching of the album, to be fully present in each moment.
In the universal mode of the folk-tale tradition, the lyrics journey from G’Raph’s youth to adulthood and reconstruct the central epiphany of his life – the value of living “Happily Ever Now.”
1. Hands in the Water
2. I Can Eat a Rainbow
3. Happily Ever Now
4. I Love You Baby
5. Don’t Pick Your Nose
6. The Minor ABC’s
7. I’m Not pErfect
8. No! No!
9. Baby Blues
10. The Only Me
11. Quiet Time
13. Owl’s Dream
This vibrant colorful and fun album of songs opens on the informative teachings of the funky Hands in the Water and the free flowing I Can Eat a Rainbow, and backs those up seamlessly with the Caribbean-imbibed title track, the beautifully atmospheric I Love You Baby, the gentle consumer warning of Don’t Pick Your Nose and then we get the Spanish guitar work within The Minor ABC’s.
Next up is the Sesame Street-esque Monster Truck and the countrified, harmonica-driven storytelling of I’m Not pErfect, the funky No! No!, the perfectly-titled Baby Blues, with the album rounding out on the lush hipsway of The Only Me, the ornate, almost instrumental balladry of Quiet Time, the album closing on the sleepytime vibe of Owl’s Dream.
“I began recording Happily Ever Now as I set up my own studio, Humming Bird Studio, when the lockdown came in 2020,” Raphael explains.
“Composing, arranging, performing, producing, and engineering the entire album alone was an adventure in creativity and inspiration. Happily Ever Now serves not only as entertainment for the entire family, but also as an introduction to many different genres of music, all of which form roots in my own musical tree.”
“The soundscape draws upon my extensive instrument collection and also includes elements of the real world, including nature, my kitchen, and Samson the cat. I might describe the music as Pete Seeger meets the Mother Ship!”