ArtsCover Story

Kate Moran’s Heart of Gold

Rainbow Rock Band in front of a signature Del Ray mural.

It’s What You’ll Find in Rainbow Rock Band’s Newest Album

By James Cullum

The best is after the Rainbow Rock Band finishes a live performance of their classic “Squirrel In My Cupcake” and the Rainbow Lady is besieged by kids. It’s a flurry of high-fives and hugs, and everybody wants a chance to talk to the larger-than-life Rainbow Lady with her perfect rainbow hair, rainbow skirt and bright red lipstick. And now she has another reason to smile – the Rainbow Rock Band will soon release their second album, “Total Eclipse of The Rainbow.”

“I’ve always loved working with children,” the Rainbow Lady, aka Del Ray’s Kate Moran, recently told the Zebra. “I love teaching a child a concept and seeing that smile that goes across their face when they get it.”

The Rainbow Lady, aka Kate Moran

The album, recorded in Nashville’s Secret Sound Studios, includes songs written by Moran and producer Kurtis Parks, the former worship director at National Community Church and top 50 finalist in the fourth season of “American Idol”. It takes its name from the 2017 solar eclipse, and includes the ridiculously catchy counting song “Crazy Cakes,” the time-passing “Sparkle Fairy” and the super-relaxing “Rainbow Lullaby.”

“These aren’t just songs for home. Parents and teachers can use them, too,” Moran said. “They’re songs about the weather, numbers, shapes and animals and they’re really meant for teachers to use in the classroom and then for parents to use at home.”

Parks, who is starting his own church in Nashville, said the album’s music is kid-designed with parents in mind. The pair worked on the album over the course of six months and took a break last year for over a month while Moran volunteered in Puerto Rico.

Photo by Sarah Marcella

“There’s definitely a lot of great Nashville sounds in there,” Parks said. “The music has to be a little more energetic because your target audience is four-to-six years old. So, we threw in xylophones and acoustic keyboards and all the melodies had to be catchy and singable – connecting a young audience with a more mature sound.”

Moran, a lifelong Alexandrian who works in special education at the U.S. Department of Education, is the founder of the Del Ray Music Festival and performs as the Rainbow Lady more than 120 times a year. She started the Rainbow Rock Band in 2012, and in 2015 they released their first album, the Parents’ Choice-winning “Meet the Rainbow.”

“This music is an easy and fun way to work with kids and for them to learn,” Moran said. “It really highlights the good that we have in the world. It just brings a lot of joy into my life.”

You can get an advance copy of “Total Eclipse of the Rainbow” at the album release party on Sept. 15 at 10 a.m. at Jammin’ Java, 227 Maple Ave. E, in Vienna, Va. The Rainbow Lady and Captain Toe Tappin’ (Kevin de Souza), Rockin’ Pupstar (Brendan Biondi), Bassious Berry (Matthew Berry), Prince Pop & Walk (Ryan Walker) and Pattycake Patty (Patty Moran) will be performing.

You can also catch the Rainbow Rock Band at the annual Let’s Move with Music at Wolf Trap on Sept. 22, and they can be found every third Monday at St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub in Del Ray at 4:30 p.m.

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