Ralph Covert started out as founder, guitarist and vocalist of the Chicago indie band The Bad Examples. In 1995, he was caught in a weak moment. "My oldest daughter was born in '95, so I started touring less," Covert said. "The folks at the Old Town School (of Folk Music) asked if I wanted to do a Wiggleworms class," a program that introduces babies and toddlers to music. He was persuaded, and his music morphed to "kindie rock," Covert said with a laugh. Although The Bad Examples earned Covert a level of fame, booking 200 shows a year in Europe and the States at one point, he now plays most often with Ralph's World, a kids' music band that evolved after his time doing Wiggleworms classes. Covert has also initiated a monthly series in which he plays alongside aspiring musicians -- kids and adults alike -- called Ralph Covert's Acoustic Army, which takes place on a Friday or Saturday night each month at FitzGerald's in Berwyn. Playing for children has taught Covert that gauging reactions, which kids have so readily, is the key to knowing how to hook an audience. "My job as band leader is to take the pulse of the audience and go on a journey with them," Covert said. "Some crowds want to dance more and some want to listen more."
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