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Virginian-Pilot

Tidewater Parent

Country Star

Out of Town

Tidewater Parent, Norfolk, VA

 

TOP NAME ACTS HEADLINE FAMILY PARK STAGE

 

Once again, the Baby and Children’s Festival struck gold and landed several well-known acts for this year’s Family Park Stage entertainment line-up.

C. Shells, a musical duo comprised of local residents Cindy Ressler Kays and Shelly Craig, will perform on Sunday, August 15 at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Kays and Craig received the 1998 Parents’ Choice Silver Honor for their album C. Shells, which featured folk ballads, folkesque songs and light rock. The silver honor is given by Parents’ Choice, a non-profit organization that evaluates children’s media as well as products that help children develop ethical attitudes.

            The two women perform children’s music throughout the Hampton Roads and Richmond area. C. Shells began performing in Hampton Roads six years ago after Kays and Craig met at a local music store. Today, they perform their songs at area preschools, elementary schools and festival.

            Kays says the success of the group is due, in part, to their wide appeal.

            “We try to make the songs as parent-friendly as possible,” said Kays in an interview with Tidewater Parent last year. “We know that parents have to listen to our tapes as much as the children do.”

            Party Animals, a children’s rock band, will perform at the stage on Saturday at noon and again at 3:30 p.m. The group will also perform on Sunday at 3:30 and 5:00 p.m.

            In addition to the musical acts, the Family Park Stage will host a Fashion Show at 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 14. The fashion show will feature frocks from several Military Circle Mall stores including J. C. Penney, Sears and Hecht’s.

            Other Family Park Stage acts include storytime with Arthur, the star of the PBS television series of the same name, Tim Nolan, a world-class juggler and the Farm Fresh Diaper Derbies, which are crawling and walking races for babies and tots.

 

Tidewater Parent

December 1998

 

KUDOS

 

The musical duo C. Shells, made up of Cindy Ressler Kays and Shelly Craig, was awarded the 1998 Parents’ Choice Silver Honor for its self-titled album “C. Shells.”

            The two women perform children’s music throughout the Hampton Roads and Richmond area. The silver honor is given by Parents’ Choice, a non-profit organization that evaluates children’s media as well as products that help children develop ethical attitudes.

            The duo began performing in Hampton Roads about six years ago when they met at a local music store. Today, they perform their songs at area preschools, elementary schools and at major area family festivals. They also travel as far as Delaware and Pennsylvania to perform.

            Kays said the success of the group is fie, in part, to their wide appeal.

            “We try to make the songs a “parent friendly” as possible,” said Kays. “We know that parents have to listen to our tapes as much as the children do.”

            If you’d like to attend a live performance by C. Shells, call 464-6407 for performance dates. The duo will perform for the Pembroke Mall Kid’s Club on December 5 from 10 to 11 a.m.

 

Tidewater Parent

May 2000

 

Departments – Music

 

BEATLES, BUG SPRAY AND BEACH MUSIC

 

By Karen Haywood Queen

 

Animal Tails, Southern Branch Music

 

            Hardly a week goes by when Cindy Kays and Shelly Craig’s band, C. Shells, doesn’t perform somewhere in Hampton Roads. The duo’s latest recording, Animal Tails, is almost as fun as a live performance by the group.

            In “Arachnid Boogie,” by Shelly Craig, we learn how spiders are different from other bugs. “You need eight legs to do this step, Arachnid Boogie is really hip.” Nothing profound here, just a little education with smooth harmonies and a grooving boogie beat. The traditional “Over in the Meadow,” again features fine harmonies. During “Chameleon Come,” I closed my eyes and listened to the flute. Who says learning about lizards can’t be fun?

            I was alerted by another parent to a valid concern about “The Ballad of Fang,” which describes how the family dog, tired of hearing the hamster wheel squeaking all night, eats up the mother hamster and her babies. This song might be one to fast-forward through, especially if your children have small pets and tender hearts.

            “Radamus the Platypus” showed off some good guitar work but a nasal voice sneaked in for an appearance here, too. The rest of the animal kingdom is covered with “How the Camel Got His Hump,” “Mosquito Blues,” “Ringo the Raccoon,” “Cyril the Skunk,” “Blue Crab Blues,” “Glorious Worms,” and “There Ain’t No Bugs on Me.” Another thumbs up from the carpool driver. The picky carpool gave this recording a double thumbs up!

 

What’s the Carpool?

The carpool is a group of children who range in age from 2 to 14. These kids are kind enough to listen to the selections we choose to review and offer up their opinions. Beware, this is a picky crew and favorable reviews from them is rather rare.

 

Tidewater Parent

October 2002

 

Department – Pedia Media/Music

 

GREAT BIG FUN FOR LITTLE ONES

By Karen Haywood Queen

 

            Tidewater’s own, C. Shells’ release Just For Fun (Southern Branch Music 2000) is another good mix of traditional tunes and originals by Shelly Craig and Cindy Kays, the members of this dynamic duo. This recording features a variety of animal songs.

            The reviewer’s favorite, “The Great Hamster Race,” by Craig is a bluesy tune with quality instrumentals and lead singing by Craig. The updates on Daisy the hamster’s progress down the hall and over eggnog will keep you tuned in. But what makes the song is the panting, hamster panting of course, by Kays. You just have to hear it. Whether you’re listening at home or lucky enough to hear C. Shells perform in the area, you’ll find yourself panting along. Don’t listen while driving or you may end up with a trooper alongside as you speed and pant down the highway. But bring it to Lamaze class, pant, pant, pant! Oh and by the way, no hamsters were harmed in the making of this song.

            “Wendell and the Wizard’s Wand” seems to play on the world’s Harry Potter fixation. Great voices, a bit silly. If you’re a parent who is opposed to all things witchy, you may want to skip this one.

            “Waltzing With Bears” by Theodore Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss) was another favorite. The song is featured in a planetarium show that has played at the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News. It’s a lilting waltz, and like Kays, you may fall in love with the song on first bearing, er make that hearing.

            Speaking of planetariums, “MerVEM J.SUNeP” will teach your kids, and maybe you too, the names of the planets in order from the sun.

            Other animal songs include “Unicorns,” “We are the Dinosaurs,” “They Are Invertebrates,” and “Going to the Zoo.”

           

            Bottom line: Well worth it, just for the bears, the planets and hamster race. Don’t tell your kids all the stuff they’ll learn.

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Karen Queen is a music teacher, writer and a performer in Williamsburg. She has a husband, two children, a dog, a cat, but no hamsters.