Music makes for great stocking stuffers so I looked around for some great new kid-friendly tunes. My daughter likes a lot of the music I do, but I think it is nice that she can have a collection all her own. There is so much out there that my ears cannot stand. You truly do have to sort through a lot of really bad and annoying “music” to find the good stuff. Instead of going super sugary pop, I tend to lean more to the folk and acoustic side. If we can throw a valuable lesson in there, even better. This way, my daughter can listen to a lot of it before sleep, relaxing her. She also is starting her journey to learning how to play guitar very soon, so she loves anything with a lot of guitar sound (from Dragonforce to Jack Johnson). Here are a couple children’s music finds you might enjoy:
Laura Veirs’ new album entitled Tumble Bee is a collection of folk songs for children. Laura has a beautiful voice that is full yet soft–very soothing. Many of you may already be fans of her work. If not, absolutely check out her earlier music. Inspired by the birth of her son, she sought out traditional (yet not so obvious) children’s songs to put her spin on. The album contains 13 songs that have been recorded in her home. Laura describes the tracks: “Most of them are old, some have been lost, and one (the title track, Tumble Bee) was written by a friend.” There are traditional lullabies mixed in with sweet serenades to complete a collection that anyone would love to listen to. My daughter asks to listen to this album as she falls asleep, and I find myself wanting to do the same! The recording covers a wide range of folk songs, from early 20th century work songs to the ballads of Jimmie Rodgers, Woody Guthrie, Peggy Seeger and Harry Belafonte. The guest appearances are also very impressive and include: Colin Meloy (Decemberists), Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Bela Fleck and Brian Blade (drummer for Bob Dylan) among many others. This is one of those CDs that you can let play in the house all day. It makes for great background breakfast music in our home. No wincing from costume-clad characters or pop tunes so sugary your teeth ache! Purchase Laura Veirs’ Tumble Bee at Raven Marching Band Records or Amazon (where you can hear a sampling)! As a side note, I really love the illustrations on the album cover–they fit her sound so well. Oh! and there is a fun DIY mobile project inside the jacket.
My next pick is by singer/songwriter Chip Taylor & The Grandkids entitled Golden Kids Rules. I like this album because Chip has a husky, relaxing voice and his three grandkids add a lively youthfulness–what a combination! The lyrics are positive messages for kids and families, from being eco-friendly to sharing. The entire collection has an undertone of love, which always makes for a great children’s album. Chip Taylor is a seasoned performer, and the man behind Wild Thing, yes that same one you’re already singing in your head! His grandchildren were the inspiration he needed to shift into the children’s music world, and I’m so happy he did. The intro is done by Chip Taylor’s brother Jon Voight, the actor, not the dentist (shameless Seinfeld plug). This album features 13 adorable, uplifting songs that are fun and easy to pick up on. My 4 year old daughter was singing along in no time. Purchase your copy at Smithsonian Folkways. Chip Taylor is truly an interesting man who led a very interesting life. Learn more about him through his bio and life works. He has “been there and done that” but I can see through his recent work, that his favorite part has been being a grandfather.
Special thanks to for providing products for review.