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The Plaza Family Band's new CD is for the kids 

A group of local Charlotte musicians, designers and educators has merged their talents to become The Plaza Family Band. The studio band composed a children's CD, Playground Hootenanny, to help raise money for the Presbyterian Weekday School. Musicians involved in the recording of the CD include Mike Strauss, Jon Schigoda and Beth Brown-Alrawi from the Mike Strauss Band, Hope Nicholls and Aaron Pitkin from Snagglepuss and Dave Conlin from Carolina Gator Gumbo, among others.

The Plaza Family will be hosting a Playground Hootenanny CD release party on Feb. 13 at the Pizza Peel. The function will begin at 1 p.m. and CDs will go on sale for $15. According to The Plaza Family MySpace page, "All proceeds from the sale of the CD will benefit the preschool and its mission to provide a learning environment for children."

According to e-mail correspondence with Mike Strauss, The Plaza Family Band started working on the 17-track CD in late September. The CD's tracks will include old-time favorites such as "This Old Man," "Five Little Monkeys" and "La Bamba." While sound effects add a creative flavor to old favorites, keep your ears perked up for new kiddy hits such as "Frogtown" by Clifton Castelloe and "Dad with Dad" by Donovan Collins. Like the children and parents who have walked through the doors of the Presbyterian Weekday School, each song has its own flair of individuality and is worth listening to.

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