Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

1/29: Justin Roberts at Beachwood High

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 4:42 PM

In the past couple of years, many indie rockers have recorded children’s albums. But you can’t accuse singer-songwriter Justin Roberts of jumping on the bandwagon. After playing in a Minneapolis-based indie-rock band during the early ’90s, Roberts made his solo debut with 1997’s Great Big Sun, his first album of tunes geared toward tykes. The former pre-school teacher was so successful, he ditched the indie-rock gig and moved to Chicago, where he spent a couple of years in graduate school and honing his G-rated songwriting craft. “The strange thing is that as I was writing the songs, I wasn’t thinking of being a children’s musician,” he says. “The reaction to the music was really strong. I didn’t even try to promote my children’s music, and it got written up in national magazines. It was something that clicked with me when I was working with the kids. I found it an interesting outlet to take on the perspective of a kid.” Roberts’ latest album, Pop Fly, which came out last year, opens with the jumpy, They Might Be Giants-like title track and then offers some power pop (“Big Field Trip”) and alt-country (“Henrietta’s Hair”). “This is a good way to turn kids on to different forms of music, though they could just listen to a Beatles record, which is what I did when I was a kid,” says Roberts. “I think it’s fun to have songs that speak to certain experiences that kids have, but that also make adults remember things about their childhood and then reflect on that and share that with their kids. I think that’s what sets [Pop Fly] apart from just listening to the new Spoon album.” Roberts and his band, the Not Ready for Naptime Players, perform at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Beachwood High School Auditorium (25100 Fairmount Blvd., 216.544.1231) as part of a benefit for the National Autism Association. Tickets are $20 advance, $22 day of show for adults, and $10 advance, $12 day of show for kids. Find more info at — Jeff Niesel

Tags: , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 5, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2022 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation