Phil Rosenthal, along with wife Beth, daughter Naomi, and son Daniel, created a great collection of old-time music, classic folk songs, traditional tunes, songwriter favorites, and Rosenthal originals for his 1995 album, The Green Grass Grew All Around.
Rosenthal, for many years the lead singer and guitarist in the popular bluegrass group The Seldom Scene, expertly produced and engineered The Green Grass Grew All Around, giving the songs a warm and inviting sound, neither overdone nor underdone.
Rosenthal takes care of most of the instrumentation himself, with a little help from his family. Also pitching in musically are Kate O’Brien on violin, Stacey Phillips on dobro, Walter Wakeman on harmonica, and Jeff and Synia McQuillan on percussion and harmony vocals.
On The Green Grass Grew All Around, Rosenthal performs traditional tunes like the story song “Frog Went A-Courtin’,” the call-and-response “What’ll I Do with the Baby-O?” the swaying shanty “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean,” and the nursery rhyme-like “I Had a Little Nut Tree.” On the original LP, Side 1 came to a rousing end with the cumulative folk favorite “The Green Grass Grew All Around,” and Side 2 finished up with the equally upbeat “Hey Lolly.”
Other highlights include Woody Guthrie’s nonsense song “Jig Along Home,” a simple banjo/vocals version of Stephen Foster’s “Oh! Susanna,” and Lydia Maria Child’s Thanksgiving classic “Over the River and Through the Wood.” Rosenthal also performed several original songs like “Neighbors,” a throwback to the call-to-unity vibe of the ‘70s; the cheerful “Sleepy Eyes,” which encourages the listener to wake up and see what the new day will bring; and the warm and cozy “The Train Song.”
Fans of Dan Zanes, The Dreyer Family Band, or folk songs in general will really dig this easy-to-sing-along-with classic from Phil Rosenthal and Family, originally released on, and still available from, Rosenthal's own American Melody Records label.
Released 1995; American Melody Records
- "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean"
- "What'll I Do with the Baby-O"
- "Jig Along Home"
- "I Had a Little Nut Tree"
- "Oh! Susanna"
- "Sleepy Eyes"
- "The Green Grass Grew All Around"
- "Over the River and Through the Wood"
- "The Train Song"
- "Frog Went A-Courtin'"
- "Hush Little Baby"
- "Down the River"
- "Hey Lolly"