Thursday April 24, 2014
When they first formed as a group, The New Lost City Ramblers were known for their love of and adherence to the authentic sounds and performances of traditional songs. Mike Seeger, John Cohen, and Tom Paley also believed that historical music should be enjoyed by the whole family, and they created Old Timey Songs for Children with that belief in mind.
Originally released as a 10-inch record by Folkways in 1959, Old Timey Songs for Children contains well-known classics like "Jennie Jenkins," "Cotton Eye Joe," "Hop High Ladies," and "Barbara Allen," as well as The Carter Family's great sing along "Chewing Gum." The album also highlights several obscure tunes and grownup-themed songs that the Ramblers felt kids would enjoy and appreciate, acknowledging young listeners' intelligence and sense of humor. A great primer for old-time music!
Image Courtesy Folkways Records
Tuesday April 22, 2014
Happy Earth Day, everyone! There are lots of kids' songs that celebrate and encourage ecology and environmental thoughtfulness, but a few immediately come to mind. Uncle Rock's "Garbage Barge" and "There Is No Away," from his 2010 album The Big Picture, discuss the fact that trash doesn't simply disappear, while Dog On Fleas' "Water Planet," from 2008's Beautiful World, describes the beauty of Earth from an extraterrestrial's point of view. Plant a tree!
Sunday April 13, 2014
Zee Avi's kids' music debut Nightlight bursts very quietly upon the Kindie Rock scene, compiling gently-performed covers of pop hits, cult favorites, and traditional tunes, performed with nifty ukulele and vocal harmony accompaniment. From The Velvet Underground to Bobby McFerrin, from the Muppets to the King of Pop, from Joni Mitchell to Disney, Zee Avi uniquely interprets an entertaining array of songs, creating a cool lullaby album for the whole family.
Nightlight will be released by Little Monster Records on April 15, 2014.
Image Courtesy Little Monster Records
Tuesday April 8, 2014
There are tons of CDs full of sleepytime versions of songs by The Beatles, but the hands-down best Beatles lullaby album is Jason Falkner's Bedtime with The Beatles.
Falkner has been a member of Jellyfish, The Grays, and The Three O'Clock, and has collaborated with Eric Matthews; all of those projects were dedicated to perfecting the pop song via lush, over-the-top production. For his 2001 album Bedtime with The Beatles, however, Falkner reeled in his bombastic tendencies and created quiet, tender, sweet instrumental versions of Fab Four tunes that melded his unique style with Beatles song craft.
If Bedtime with The Beatles piques your interest, Falkner released Bedtime with The Beatles, Part 2 in 2008.
Image Courtesy Sony Wonder