After nearly two decades spent honing his art via live shows, beloved Western Massachusetts-based children’s musician and puppeteer Tom Knight announces the November 18 release of his 6th album for kids, Look Both Ways.

By blending elements of Mister Rogers’ gentle spirit with the boundless creativity of Jim Henson, Tom Knight has become an authentic lyrical storyteller in song, engaging listeners through his evocative music, warm vocal presence, creative use of puppetry in performance and video, and easy sense of humor.

Look Both Ways takes its theme from the title song, which extolls a basic safety rule while embracing the ever-changing beauty of each season. The album enlarges upon this idea by viewing life from more than one perspective, whether learning another language, being part of a community, or experiencing art in a museum. Look Both Ways interweaves brand-new material (“Wiggly Tooth,” “Five Snow People”) with songs Tom Knight has written since the release of his last album in 2003 (“Look Both Ways,” “Museum Mambo,” “Hot Air Balloon”) and new renditions of favorite tunes from Tom’s early recordings (“The Garbage Monster,” “Alligator Jump,” “Stone Soup”).

“I’m so grateful to be able to share music that can delight audiences and create community in singing and dancing together,” says Tom Knight. “It’s been awesome connecting with so many families and sometimes meeting the children of children who grew up with my music.”

Through the years since the release of his last album, The Classroom Boogie, Tom Knight has continued to perform and write new songs. During the COVID pandemic, however, Tom shifted gears to online performances and even created an original YouTube kids’ series. Adapting to this new way of performing and interacting with kids proved to open the door of opportunity for Tom to not only create a fresh batch of brand-new material, but also to update older material for a new generation.

The album’s opener, “Alligator Jump/¡Salta Caimán!” really “jumps” out to the listener with its infectious Latin spirit. This new version of Tom Knight’s popular “Alligator Jump” has been most appropriately fitted with a salsa groove, rounding out its evolution as a vibrant Spanish/English bilingual number with vocals by the supremely gifted Argentinian singer Mica Farias Gomez and Latin percussion by her equally gifted partner, Manu Uriona, who brings a smile to every shake of the maracas.

“Wiggly Tooth” celebrates a universal rite of passage by combining country rock with a honky-tonk piano by Frank Shelton. On Look Both Ways, Tom’s acoustic folk song, “The Garbage Monster,” has transitioned to an R&B bop, showcasing some fantastic bass guitar playing from Daniel Yoong along with Tom Knight’s charming story-song performance. “Stone Soup,” inspired by the traditional folk tale, emerges with new lyrics highlighting community building and mutual aid, voiced as a country-folk bit of Americana featuring fiddle and banjo.

Set to the lovely elegance of authentic Latin rhythm, “Museum Mambo” is the tale of a mouse who visits an art museum, making friends with each painting. In Tom Knight’s version of “Five Snow People,” inspired by a Susan Salidor counting song, “snowmen” become “snow people” and each snow person leaves the group because of a sensory experience: sleepiness, hunger, being cold, or feeling the urge to dance. The album comes to a gentle close with a gem of rare purity, “Hot Air Balloon.”

Based in Western Massachusetts, Tom Knight is widely acclaimed as a consummate musician, singer/songwriter, puppeteer, and videographer.

A creative at work and an entertainer at heart, Tom brings fun, whimsy, and personality to the center stage. A pinch of puppetry, a dash of music, and a sprinkling of educational classes for young children have been baking for more than 30 years to create an engaging, delightful persona that has charmed audiences around the world. Since 1988, Tom has delighted children and their grown-ups with his interactive, musical puppet shows featuring hand-made puppets, catchy songs, and lots of audience participation.

Citing influences as diverse as The Beatles and Pete Seeger, Tom has written, throughout his lifetime, more than a thousand songs. His music is known for its strong melodic hooks, as well as a lyrical and musical complexity that appeals to adults as well as children.

Throughout the country, Tom has given more than 1,000 performances at festivals, museums, and libraries in such notable venues as the Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC and the Lenny Suib Puppet Playhouse in New York City. Tom is celebrated as a hometown hero throughout Western Massachusetts, where his many performances include the Green River Festival, River’s Meltdown, First Night Northampton, and Jones Library in Amherst.

Tom Knight’s award-winning “Elephant’s Lullaby” music video has been viewed over 2.7 million times on YouTube. In April 2020, Tom created The Tom Knight Show on YouTube, where he and his hand-made puppets helped parents and kids cope with the unprecedented situation of the global pandemic. Tom’s show entertained and enlightened young children and adults alike through themes that included moving to music (“Alligator Jump,” “Wiggle Worm”), folk tales (“Rockabilly Goats Gruff”), animal stories (“The Elephant's Lullaby)”, and science (“The Solar System”), as well as skits about a charming magician whose powers could get out of hand (Henry the Magician).

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