At the foot of Warren Street in Parade Hill, Uncle Rock was checking his guitar tuning as he stepped onto the stage for his headlining show at the Hudson Pride Family Day Festival. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon with gentle breeze blowing off the mighty Hudson. He stepped up to the microphone and launched into his opening number, a rousing cover of David Bowie’s “Rebel, Rebel.”
Obviously, Uncle Rock is not your average children’s music performer.
Oh sure, he played a number of his own original children’s tunes – “It’s Hot (Don’t Touch It!)” and “Disco Nap” were two of his most popular selections among the younger set – but he also dipped into the songbags of the Beatles and the Monkees and whipped up an energetic rendition of Generation X’s “Dancing With Myself.”
Uncle Rock comes by his generation-bridging, omni-pop approach quite honestly having been a member of garage-rock kingpins the Fleshtones, recorded with rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson and co-written songs with Rosanne Cash back in the days when he was better known as Robert Burke Warren.
But, of course, none of that mattered in the least to the kids who were dancing around the park to “I’m a Believer.” They were just having a damned good time.