Happily, the title of singer-songwriter Red Grammer’s collection is misleading. Teaching Peace is not a dreary save-the-world album; Grammer is at least as interested in peace of mind as he is in peace of the global variety. He also knows how to have fun. Most of the 12 songs have a moral component, but few are openly moralistic. Mainly, they’re mild lessons in living, set to music.
”Teaching Peace” is a march, sung by Grammer and a chorus of kids. It’s followed by ”Places in the World,” its lyrics consisting almost solely of place names (”Bombay, Cape May, Mandalay, Baffin Bay…”). The diversity continues: ”Rapp Song” is an energetic rap number; ”With Two Wings” is a lovely folk duet about working together. There are messages here: about getting along, about positive thinking, about the advantages of talk over violence.
But there’s also an appealing silliness, as in ”Shake Your Brains,” where Grammer actually rolls his Bs. How hard is this? Try saying, ”Shbbbbbbbbbb.” Get the whole family to try. You may not end war, but you’ll have a good time. A-