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A New Album For Kids with (and Without) Cancer

Photo by Matt Dorris

This past summer, Alastair released Singing Our Way Through: Songs for the World's Bravest Kids, an album which grew out of songs co-written with his daughter after she was diagnosed with leukemia in 2012 (she's doing great). Read about Moock's campaign to bring this new (now GRAMMY-nominated) project to hospitals, clinics, and camps around the country.


Alastair Photo
Photo by Mara Brod

Nearly twenty years into his performing career, Alastair Moock has managed to carve out a unique niche for himself: He is a songwriter committed to celebrating the roots of American music while knocking down the walls between different audiences, genres and musical traditions. Today, his audiences range from adults all the way down to preschoolers, and he plays everything from nightclubs to theaters to schoolrooms. Like his boyhood hero, Woody Guthrie, Moock believes in the power of music to reach all people — young and old, far and wide, for all occasions.

Moock started performing in 1995, moving from his home outside New York City to the folk haven of Boston, Massachusetts. After honing his skills on Boston's open mike stages and working his way up through the local coffeehouse and club circuit, he began touring around the U.S. By 2002, he had performed at some of the top listening rooms and outdoor events in the country, including the Newport and Falcon Ridge Folk Festivals, The Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, and The Bluebird Café in Nashville. In 2003 he made his first trip to Europe, where he performed at the prestigious Bergen Music Fest in Norway. Since then he has made numerous trips across the pond with appearances in Scandinavia, Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and the UK.

In 2007, on the heels of Fortune Street, his fifth album and second on CoraZong Records, Moock was nominated for a Boston Music Award for Outstanding Singer-Songwriter of the Year. The Boston Globe calls him "one of the town's best and most adventurous songwriters" and The Washington Post says "every song is a gem."

Throughout his career, Moock had worked with and occasionally performed for kids on the side, but it wasn’t until his twin daughters were born in 2006 that he was inspired to make his first foray into family music. In 2010, he joined the roster of Young Audiences of Massachusetts to bring his program Music and Social Change to students throughout the state. That same year, he released his first family music album, A Cow Says Moock. Both that album and its follow-up, These Are My Friends, were met with critical acclaim.

But it is Moock’s newest album, Singing Our Way Through: Songs for the World’s Bravest Kids, which is nearest and dearest to his heart. In July of 2012, one of Alastair’s daughter’s was diagnosed with leukemia. The Singing Our Way Through project began when they started writing songs together in the hospital. Over the next several months, Moock continued to write and collect songs that reflected his family’s experiences – the love, the pride, the surprising amount of joy, and some of the more difficult parts too.

Moock decided he wanted to record an album for other families traveling similar paths. With the help of an amazing fundraising campaign and the musical talents of friends including co-producer Anand Nayak, Chris Smither, Aoife O’Donovan, Rani Arbo, Mark Erelli, The Okee Dokee Brothers, and (fellow 2014 Grammy nominee) Elizabeth Mitchell, Moock released Singing Our Way Through in July, 2013. Since then, more than 2,000 albums have been distributed to hospitals, cancer organizations and patient families around the country.

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  • 2014 GRAMMY Nomination, Best Children's Album
  • 2013 People Magazine Best Kids' Album Pick
  • 2013 Fids & Kamily Poll #3 Album of the Year
  • 2013 Parents' Choice Gold Medal
  • 2013, 2011, 2010 National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA) Gold Medal
  • 2011 Parents' Choice Silver Medal
  • Nominee, 2007 Boston Music Award, Outstanding Singer-Songwriter of the Year
  • Finalist, 2006 Grassy Hill Kerrville New Folk Competition
  • Winner, 2004 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist Contest
  • Winner, 2004 Great Waters Folk Festival Songwriting Contest
  • Winner, 2004 Sisters Folk Festival Songwriting Contest
  • Finalist, 2004 South Florida Folk Festival Songwriting Contest
  • Honorable Mention, 2004 Telluride Troubadour Competition
  • Finalist, 2002 USA Songwriting Competition

Selected Appearances

  • 92Y Tribecca (New York, NY)
  • Bergen Music Fest (Bergen, Norway)
  • The Birchmere (Alexandria, VA)
  • The Bluebird Café (Nashville, TN)
  • CBGB's Gallery (New York, NY)
  • Celtic Connections Festival (Glasgow, UK)
  • Club Passim (Cambridge, MA)
  • The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival (Hillsdale, NY)
  • The Getty Museum (Los Angeles, CA)
  • The Green River Festival (Greenfield, MA)
  • The Guthrie Center (Great Barrington, MA)
  • The Iron Horse Music Hall (Northampton, MA)
  • The Kennedy Library (Boston, MA)
  • Music Star (Norderstedt, Germany)
  • Musikfest (Bethlehem, PA)
  • The Newport Folk Festival (Newport, RI)
  • The Old Town School of Folk Music (Chicago, IL)
  • La Pomme d'Eve (Paris, France)
  • The Ram's Head Tavern (Annapolis, MD)
  • Sisters Folk Festival (Sisters, OR)
  • Symphony Space (New York, NY)
  • Toogenblik (Brussels, Belgium)
  • Wolf Trap Theatre-in-the-Woods (Vienna, VA)
  • World Music Cafe (Philadelphia, PA)

Selected Openings and Shared Bills

  • Greg Brown
  • Carlene Carter
  • Peter Case
  • Catie Curtis
  • Kasey Chambers
  • Slaid Cleaves
  • Marshall Crenshaw
  • Guy Davis
  • Jonathan Edwards
  • Cliff Eberhardt
  • Ramblin' Jack Elliott
  • Jay Farrar
  • Arlo Guthrie
  • Patty Larkin
  • Taj Mahal
  • David Mallett
  • Lori McKenna
  • Lynn Miles
  • Bill Morrissey
  • Peter Mulvey
  • Carrie Newcomer
  • Ellis Paul
  • Kelly Joe Phelps
  • Utah Phillips
  • Willy Porter
  • Bill Staines
  • John Stewart
  • Susan Werner
  • Dan Zanes

© 2010 Alastair Moock. All rights reserved.