Steven Courtney to headline next week’s Pastorius Park concert

by Tom Beck
Posted 6/23/22

Steven Courtney writes music for kids and families.

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Steven Courtney to headline next week’s Pastorius Park concert


Steven Courtney writes music for kids and families.

If you’re a parent who's been subjected to songs in the typical repertoire of children’s music à la “Wheels on the Bus” and “Old MacDonald Had a Farm,” the previous sentence in this article may make you cringe. 

But you shouldn’t worry. When Courtney and his band, the Suitcase Musicians, take the Pastorius Park summer stage on June 29 at 7:30 p.m., parents can expect Courtney’s songs to resonate with them too.

“To apply a write-good-music sensibility from the beginning was the goal to me,” Courtney said. “Because I’m going to have to listen to it over and over.”

A dad once told Courtney that he listens to Courtney’s music in the car even when he’s driving without his kids.

“It’s one of the best compliments I ever received,” he said.

Since putting out his first children’s record in 1991, Courtney has amassed a slew of hits over the years, which range from downright goofy songs like “I Am a Robot” to feel good earworms like “Happy Go Lucky Shoes.”

Courtney didn’t initially get into the music industry with the intention of writing music for kids. But soon after his niece took his first album, “Today and Tonight,” to school for show-and-tell about 30 years ago, he got a phone call from a teacher asking if he put on concerts for kids.

“Next thing I knew I was getting opportunities to perform at schools and libraries and community events,” he said. 

Since then, he’s put out 35 more albums of children’s music. 

“It was a natural outworking of my desire as a songwriter,” Courtney said. “I don’t even really know how to explain it, other than it was so second nature to me as a writer [to write for children]. It’s very freeing.”

He called his live performances for kids and families “a party.”

“It’s a lot of interactive songs,” he said. “Lots of call and response and tunes with movement built into some of the action of the songs. It’s just an all out good time.”

The more Courtney grew as a songwriter for children, the more educators started to “latch onto the positive behavior themes to my songs,” he said.

“Once I saw the potential for it [to grow] I realized it could go on and on,” he continued.
“And it has.”

It also appears to have stuck. Courtney also has a rock band he plays with on weekends, and he said it’s not uncommon for people in his adult audiences to come up to him and tell him that his music was “the soundtrack of our childhood.”