The Kids Beat

Woody Keppel Releases New, Danceable Album

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Vermont performer Woody Keppel knows how to make people laugh. The founder of Burlington's annual Festival of Fools began his career in 1981, playing silent comic roles with the Opera Company of Boston. A decade ago, he made a comic kids' movie, Woodhead Saves the Farm, in which a bumbling farmhand makes a mess of Shelburne Farms right before a public appearance by Senator Patrick Leahy. Now Keppel has released a related CD of his silly songs, "Mr. Woodhead's Party in the Animal Barn," featuring local musicians, including Gordon Stone and Dave Grippo. "It's pop music, and it's really danceable," says Keppel. The eclectic mix includes tunes such as the Caribbean-inflected "Get Happy" and "When an Elephant Has to Sneeze," which uses a trombone to capture the pachyderm's lumbering sound. "The disc is in heavy rotation here at our house," says Kids VT contributor Erik Esckilsen. "And the music is good."

"Mr. Woodhead's Party in the Animal Barn": Available for $15 at Shelburne Farms, Apple Mountain in Burlington, the Old Brick Store in Charlotte and mrwoodhead.com.

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