by Stephen Pedersen - The Halifax Herald

Cape Breton children’s entertainer Duncan Wells wants to come out of the wings and take over center stage. “He’s got the act, he’s got the band and songs, and he’s got 15 years of experience in children’s theatre.”

“The whole band and I are ready to hit the road,” he says. Wells recently released his first children’s cassette, Ladder To The Sky, which he hopes will help get him discovered. In 10 original songs he urges kids to care for each other - Clap Your Hands Give A Hoot - consoles them from mood swings - See Saw Song - and encourages them to dream - Ladder To The Sky - all to funky, modern beats and primary colour melodies. “I like to think my songs are not preachy,” says Wells. “Kids don’t pay too much attention to the message. The message kind of oozes it’s way into their consciousness.”

As a songwriter he contributes to the Cape Breton Summertime Revue. As a playwright specializing in plays for children, he has won recognition and awards from the Writer’s Digest international competition and the University College of Cape Breton Drama Group’s festival of plays. He has also received grants from Canada Council for script development and from the Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent on Record (FACTOR) for producing Ladder To The Sky. Among his plays is one called The Goodwolf of Greenwood, inspired more or less by Farley Mowat’s popular best-seller Never Cry Wolf. “It’s about parents telling their kids that wolves are bad. The children are sent into the woods to pick berries. A wolf shows up and they develop a friendship, and then try to convince the adults that the wolf is really ok.”

It has taken Wells some time to develop his positive messages and his entertaining songs. Ladder To The Sky is his strategy for introducing himself and his children’s band (The Apple in a Tree Band) to new markets.

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