By Carla Caldwell
What started out as silly family fun over breakfast has launched a band, a “family music” CD and a growing group of fans for Buckhead couple Robin and Scott Hall.
The Halls, in their 40s, were in established rock bands when they met in 1994, but stopped performing professionally when they married in 1996. They got day jobs and went about the business of raising a family.
Robin Hall teaches at E. Rivers Elementary School in Buckhead. Scott Hall teaches guitar and song writing. Together they own an art photography business that caters to the hotel industry.
The Halls continued to perform music, just to a much smaller and very difference audience.
“After our son Colton was born six years ago, I would make breakfast for him and make up little rhymes and melodies,” Scott Hall said. “I’m a breakfast guy, and while I was cooking, I would sings songs such as ‘Daddy’s French Toast,’ for example, to make him laugh.”
Over time, more songs were whipped up in the Hall’s kitchen – “Cereal,” “Toaster Toaster,” “Ice Maker,” “Mr. Microwave,” and “Pancakes.” The songs were just something the family enjoyed until friends encouraged them to record them.
Eventually, the Halls decided to go for it and booked time in an Atlanta studio with music producer Martin Kearns. Scott describes the band’s sound as adult music with funny lyrics. They named the band Kitty Wolf, which was Colton’s name for a beloved neighborhood cat he had decided as a toddler was a wolf.
Kitty Wolf’s CD “Pancakes!” — released in 2009 — has received positive reviews and is regularly played on Internet radio shows and podcasts that cater to the growing “Family Music” genre. The podcasts, including those by Gooney Bird Kids (www.gbk.com), and Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl (www.saturdaycerealbowl.com) reach thousands of listeners internationally. Many of the programs include links to sites such as CDbaby.com and iTunes, where listeners can sample, buy or download featured artists’ music.
The band’s high-energy performances at festivals around Atlanta, including the recent Underwood Hills Spring Social, are growing an audience of young fans and their parents.
Alex Lvov, 8, of Underwood Hills is a big Kitty Wolf fan and has seen the band numerous times. He was in Robin Hall’s class at E. Rivers this past year and says of his teacher, “She is pretty amazing.”
“The words to Kitty Wolf songs are happy and musical,” said Alex, adding that his favorite song is “Mr. Microwave.” He describes the tune as a fun, light rap song.
Another fan, Reese Tobin, 7 1/2, who also lives in Underwood Hills and attends E. Rivers, danced with the band on stage during a recent performance. “I like their music a lot because the words are funny,” said Reese. “Pancakes” is her favorite song by the band, she said.
Getting young people involved in music is important to the band. “I collect music instruments for kids and keep a box filled and handy for them to play at performances,” said Robin. “We encourage the kids to get up and dance and sing.”
Colton, now 6, often takes the stage with his parents playing a small drum set or guitar.
The couple’s two older children, Madison, 20, and Payne, 19, participate in various ways. Robin became their step mom when she and Scott married, and the couple has raised them.
Growing up with “rock and roll parents” was a blast, said Madison, who plays guitar and has performed with the band. “I sometimes take friends with me to see Kitty Wolf and they can’t believe how awesome they are,” she said. “The shows are really fun to watch because all of the little kids love them.”
Kitty Wolf’s drummer, Mike Snowden, played with Scott years ago in a hard rock trio called Devil Bug.
Robin was in the band ‘Skirt,’ which traveled the country and once opened for Aerosmith.
Snowden, who lives in East Cobb and has a 7-year-old daughter, is known for making cigar box guitars. He’s been featured on local and national radio and television playing the instruments and describing how they are made.
Kitty Wolf will soon record its second CD, a collection of 12 or more songs that cover topics outside the kitchen — titles include “Cowboys with Guitars,” “Blue Ridge Giant,” and “Funky Princess.”
The band is also filming a video for its song “Cereal,” said Robin.
“Kitty Wolf has brought performing music back into our lives,” said Scott. “It’s like we’ve come full circle. We are making music that we love and we’re doing it in a family-friendly way.”
To hear Kitty Wolf perform or to contact the band, go to www.KittyWolf.com. Or, check out the band’s pages on Facebook and MySpace.