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GulfAlive from The Banana Plant


the banana plant sid berger gwynn torresGulfAlive
Grammy Nominated - Best Children's Album, 2012
Winner of the Creative Child Magazine - 2011 PREFERRED CHOICE AWARD


GulfAlive – Celebrating Gulf Creatures & Features
, The Banana Plant, The Banana Plant LLC., 2010; $9.95 CD, Coloring Book $4.95, Together $13.95; <> .  “A celebration and exultation of the myriad and diverse wildlife and sea-life that inhabit the Gulf – a jambalaya of musical styles enrich the edutainment value, and, a portion of sales benefit the Gulf Coast restoration. A win-win.” John Wood,

From The Muse's Muse

CD REVIEW:The Banana Plant - Gulf Alive
By Don Sechelski - 12/30/2010 - 12:26 PM EST
Artist: The Banana Plant
Album: Gulf Alive
Genre: Children's (ages 5-13)
Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
CD Review: "The Banana Plant, a children’s entertainment group from New Orleans, has released a CD of children’s songs called Gulf Alive. This esoteric collection of songs hopes to raise awareness about the diverse life that exists in the gulf region. The Banana Plant consists of Gwen Torres and Sid Berger. The songs they’ve created for this CD range from lilting Cajun waltzes to growling New Orleans funk. Accessible melodies make it easy to sing along pretty quickly and the lyrics are both fun and informative. Titles like Everything Starts With Plankton and Every Drop of Water let you know that there is some teaching going on but Torres and Berger manage to avoid sounding pedantic with their lively performances and catchy melodies. Gulf Alive is a fun and entertaining way to introduce the diversity of life to primary age students and it’s also a pleasant listening experience for parents, win/win. Its release is timely with the gulf area under increasing pressure from oil and commercial development."

From Home Education Magazine's

"Gulf Alive is a Louisiana Gulf themed CD, with ten songs about birds, cooking, marine life, and other gulf related topics. The music is upbeat and fun, and covers genres from jazz and rock, to Creole.

"My daughters really enjoyed all of the songs. The lyrics were all very easy to understand, which enabled them to sing along while they danced.

"My 7 year old said “The songs are great. It teaches me a lot of cool stuff. My favorite songs are Green Anole, and Everything Starts with Plankton.”

"It’s a great CD, which has quickly become a favorite in our house.

Review submitted by HEM reader Limor Hendricks

treasure swamp

Treasure Swamp -A Pop Opera

The Banana Plant Expertly Mixes Music, Environmentalism On New LP
By: Phillip Sayblack, WNCT-TV

Good morning, everyone. I hope your day is going well. I've got one more new review to share with you this morning. Today, I've got another new music review. This time it comes courtesy of The Banana Plant and the Reel Reviews Music Department. Today's new review focuses on a release that mixes music and environmentalism in a way that entertains and influences rather than preaches. Its simplicity and fun make even an animated take on the record seem feasible. Without any further ado, I offer for your consideration dear readers, The Banana Plant with "Treasure Swamp: A Pop Opera."

Typically, when one thinks of children’s music, one doesn’t generally think of the likes of The Banana Plant. This Grammy nominated company recently released its sophomore release, Treasure Swamp: A Pop Opera. And for anyone that is looking for something away from the typical sing-a-long songs records that so many kids’ records are known for being, this new release is exactly that.

Treasure Swamp: A Pop Opera is a kids’ record. But it’s also a record that promotes environmental awareness without being preachy. This record boasts music from across the pop spectrum. There’s some pop, rock, blues, and even a touch of Zydeco, too. The different musical genres aren’t just tossed across the record, either. Each one is used to help identify the story’s different characters. It’s a musical style somewhat along the lines of the famed opus, Peter and The Wolf. For instance, the evil pirate and his monkey sidekick are identified with some really “mean” sounding guitars whenever he comes in. Not only does the music help to identify certain characters, they expertly set each scene, letting audiences know the emotion of the characters. One of the best examples of that is in the song, ‘Swamp Land.’ Petey and Pattie Possum solemnly sing of their pledge to defend the swamp against the evil, greedy pirate. The response by Petey and Pattie’s friends in ‘Plan A’ gives an immediate sense of urgency and optimism at the same time. By comparison, ‘Running Out of Ideas Blues’ does the job complete with an alligator that sounds strangely like jazz legend Louis Armstrong. This balance of music and lyrics will keep both kids and adults alike listening to find out what happens with the swamp and its inhabitants throughout the course of the near hour long story. The whole thing has a happy ending. And audiences will laugh when they discover what happens to the evil pirate.

Treasure Swamp: A Pop Opera is a wonderful piece of music both for kids and adults due to its overall construction. That it ties in a message of conservation without being preachy makes the record all the better. Far too often kids’ records are made with a very obvious intent. In the case of this release, audiences aren’t being preached to. Rather, they are being given an important message and being entertained at the same time. Neither the entertainment nor the message of ecological preservation outweighs the other, making it out to be one fun record for the whole family. The balance of music with an environmental message is expertly executed with this album. The combination makes it a family friendly release. What makes it even better is that as expertly as it is executed, it could just as easily be translated into a visual format. It would be interesting to see this piece turned into a short, straight-to-DVD animated feature. That makes Treasure Swamp: A Pop Opera even better and more enjoyable. One can only see if an animated companion piece will be made from it. In the meantime, audiences can pick up the album in stores and online at Audiences can also follow all the latest from The Banana Plant at and

By: Phillip Sayblack, formerly of WNCT-TV

Treasure Swamp: A Pop Opera
01 March 2013 — by David Kuniank OffBeat Magazine

The Banana Plant is the brainchild of Gwynn Torres and Sid Berger, musicians and producers of the Grammy-nominated album Gulf Alive, a “children’s” introduction to the animals and culture of the Gulf of Mexico. Their new record continues the saga of animal tales in the Gulf region. This one focuses on the swamp with two themes: a love story between two possums, and a battle between them and other bayou critters including a raccoon, an owl, a beaver and others who face off with a bad pirate who wants to drain the swamp in pursuit of Jean Lafitte’s treasure. A kidnapping leads to the possums almost being eaten before an army of insects buzzes in to save the day. Children will love the storyline and the voices portraying the characters. There’s also a great variety of song types with love ballads, ominous grungy marches, jazz tunes, blues numbers, sing-along anthems and a Cajun cut or two, thereby introducing children to different forms of Louisiana music. Adults will be entertained also, but occasionally the opera sounds too cutesy and the use of computerized instruments can sound claustrophobic. Still, this record serves well as an art piece for children to be exposed to the concepts of nature, the animal world, music and teamwork. And the overall message of good triumphing over evil is substantial enough to stick, yet not so emphasized that it overwhelms everything else.
David Kuniank OffBeat Magazine

From Home Education Magazine's

Ok so when I think of Opera I think of The Phantom of the Opera. I think of people on stage singing in extravagant costumes that remind me of the renaissance. When I was given the opportunity to review Treasure Swamp Pop Opera I really didn’t know what to expect. I thought what is it going to sound like is it going to be any good? Let me just tell you I was pleasantly surprised. It was created by the same people who were nominated for a Grammy in 2011 for Best Children’s Album Gulf Alive.

Let me start out by saying that this pop opera has over five different types of music throughout it. As a lover of all music I think that is great especially since I’m playing it for my kids and this give them the opportunity to experience all different types of music. Since I homeschool this provides some great teaching moments.

Ok so now this pop opera is about swamp animals. Yes you heard right. It is an opera sung by “swamp animals” who are fighting for their community. It is sung by raccoons, frogs, a pirate, and some possums plus many more animals all singing. Now this is all so great for any child’s imagination, it even has sparked my imagination. Can you imagine a chorus of frogs on a log singing?

So I would recommend this to anyone with children. Your older children may not admit they like it. But I’m sure children of any age will enjoy this CD.

If you visit their site you can listen to samples of the CD. You also can buy the CD here. So go check them out listen to some samples buy there CD and Enjoy.

Review submitted by HEM reader Kayleigh Withers

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