If you go
What: Rocknoceros concert
When: Saturday, Jan. 15
Where: The Link, 12018 Lee Highway, Sperryville, 540-987-8011
Time: 5 p.m. (doors open at 4:15)
Tickets: $5 apiece for ages 1 and up. Call 540-675-3736 or email RappKids9@gmail.com.
Organized by RappKids, and sponsored by Rudy’s Pizza, Sperryville Corner Store, The Link, Union First Market Bank, Wakefield Country Day School and Warrenton Pediatrics.
Rocknoceros makes music that’s child play and the band’s audiences love them for it.
The trio of middle-aged guys from Northern Virginia have been performing for the younger set and their parents for five years. They perform weekly at Jammin’ Java in Vienna and Dulles Town Center. They “tour” as well, and this Saturday they’re traveling to the Link in Sperryville for a “Rockin’ in Rappahannock” concert at 5 p.m.
They’ll be playing such favorites as “The Train Song,” “Playground,” “Can You Tell Time,” and “Virginia” off their most recent release titled “PINK!” Their third recording got its name after a young fan of the female gender complained she thought the band was playing “all boy stuff,” explained David Cotton, who goes by the name “Coach Cotton” when onstage.
He founded the band after attending children’s concerts with his sons when they were younger and decided “I could put together a band that was at least as compelling” as the acts he heard. “It seemed like a niche we could fill. We are one of the few bands playing children’s music in the area. Most of the others are solo guitarists.”
The other members of Rocknoceros are Marc Capponi, aka Boogie Woogie Bennie, and Patrick Williams, aka Williebob.
Cotton and Capponi were schoolmates together from elementary school in Fairfax County through James Madison University. They met Williams in high school.
“It’s a very democratic outfit,” Cotton said of the band, but he’s the designated point man for media interviews.
The trio write their own songs. The lyrics can be playful, and in the case of “Virginia,” which talks about the state, can be a teaching tool as well.
“I have three kids [ages, 8, 6, and 1] so I get a lot of inspiration from them,” Cotton said.
The band sprinkles in Beatles tunes during concerts that appeal to kids, such as “Yellow Submarine,” “Drive My Car,” and “Octopus’s Garden.”
Cotton sings and plays percussion, Williebob plays guitar, banjo and mandolin and Boogie plays piano, drums and keyboard. Boogie actually plays the drum with his right foot, and the snare drum and cymbal with his left foot while his fingers work the keyboard.
“Kids of all ages like our music, and their parents most definitely like our songs,” Cotton said. “The songs are appropriate for all ages.”
The band runs through 14 to 16 songs during the concerts that are 45 minutes to an hour long.
“We mix it up,” Cotton said of the song list. “We’ll play songs requested from emails we get before the concert or shouted out during it. We play whatever the audience would like to hear as long as we know it.”
The band’s albums can be purchased at their concerts, through its Web site at rocknoceros.com or through Amazon, iTunes or cdbaby.org.