Rocknoceros: The kids are alright

Rocknoceros performs in Fairfax County. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
'We don't want to see anybody snoozing'

wtopstaff | November 14, 2014 10:53 am

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Neal Augenstein,

WASHINGTON – They rocked Lollapalooza. Later this year, they’ll play the prestigious Austin City Limits Festival. Their CDs are critically acclaimed.

Many of their fans are still in diapers.

As most families with children in the D.C. area know, Rocknoceros records catchy, clever, informative songs, with titles like “Harry Elefante” and “Wee Go Potty.”

Coach Cotton, Williebob, and Boogie Woogie Bennie all grew up in Fairfax County, Va.

Seven years ago they had an epiphany.

“If you’re playing original music for grownups, you quickly find that there are limited opportunities,” says Williebob, who continues to dabble in the adult music world with Coach Cotton.

A target audience of children provides a markedly different lifestyle for musicians.

“To be able to play during the daytime, as opposed to staying out late playing in bars, smelling like smoke,” Williebob says.

For parents looking to share activities with their children, Rocknoceros has almost endless gigging opportunities.

“There are just so many schools, libraries, PTAs. You can play in Falls Church one day and then Sterling the next day, and it’s two entirely different sets of people,” says Boogie.

The audience for music appealing to children and their parents is growing, and getting hipper. In October, Rocknoceros will perform at the Austin City Limits Festival.

“We played Lollapalooza in 2010. The kids stage there was Kidsapalooza. I guess the organizers decided lots of people who went to Lollapalooza in college now have kids,” says Boogie.

“In Austin, it will be Austin Kiddy Limits.”

Families often bring tambourines, shakers and other noisemakers to concerts.

The developmental stage for kids makes for devoted fans, says Williebob.

“The children don’t get seem to get tired of it. They can listen to the same song over and over again.”

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