Gabriola Island’s Kerplunks – Jojo Hallett, Phil Wipper, Dinah D and Aaron Cadwaladr (from left) – are nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award for their latest album, Lullabies for Big Eyes. (Photo courtesy Lance Sullivan/Concept Photography)

Gabriola Island’s Kerplunks nominated for fifth Canadian Folk Music Award

Two-time winners up for Children’s Album of the Year for ‘Lullabies for Big Eyes’

The streak continues as the Kerplunks’ fifth CD has earned them their fifth Canadian Folk Music Award nomination for Children’s Album of the Year.

Last week it was announced that the Gabriola Island quartet – bassist Dinah Desrochers, multi-instrumentalist Jojo Hallett, drummer Phil Wipper and guitarist Aaron Cadwaladr – are among the five finalists up for the award for their 2018 album, Lullabies for Big Eyes.

While they’ve won twice in the past – in 2008 for their self-titled debut and in 2016 for Pants and Mammals – founding member Desrochers, who goes by “Dinah D,” said it’s always exciting to be nominated for the national prize.

“It’s always a bit of a surprise and mystery and wonder for me … when the songs that we’ve written are in the top five in all of Canada,” she said. “It’s a big country and there’s a lot of really good entertainment out there, especially family entertainment, so it’s always just, wow. What an honour.”

She noted that three of the other nominees are B.C.-based friends of theirs and she hopes to have a bit of a reunion with them at the Canadian Folk Music Awards ceremony in Charlottetown, P.E.I. on April 3 and 4, 2020. She added that this is also the first time in the Kerplunks’ 13-year history that none of the “old guard” children’s artists like Raffi or Fred Penner are nominated as well.

Desrochers describes Lullabies for Big Eyes as “heavily researched” and “a bit of an epic,” with a 66-minute run time and songs interspersed with sleep-inducing instrumental interludes. She said the album was just what the band members needed.

“Everybody was going through a bit of a sleep crisis at that time, so we decided, “Hey, I know, let’s make an album for ourselves. Let’s make an album to put us all to sleep and all of our friends,” she said. “That was the dawning of the lullaby album.”

Desrochers joked that the album is so effective at drawing listeners into deep sleep that it should come with a surgeon general’s warning. She said one fan started dozing off at a particularly inopportune time.

“We had a dad who got our album really early on and … he was on a road trip in the Prairies listening to the album and said, ‘This album should come with a warning for long evening road trips with your family,’” she said “Because everybody was asleep except for him and he felt his eyelids were starting to droop and he suddenly had to just change the music.”



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