Great Children's Music (That You'll Love, Too!)
Tired of Sesame Street, Backyardigans, and Baby Einstein CDs? You may be amazed at the collection of great children's music in today's market (from bands you may already know and love) that don't involve large stuffed dinosaurs!
OK … AC/DC, Radiohead, The Ramones, and Bob Marley might not be entirely appropriate for little ears, but in this new iteration they are just perfect! Los Angeles-based music label Baby Rock takes some of the best rock ‘n’ roll classics (think The Beach Boys, Nirvana, The Cure, and more) and recreates them as soothingly beautiful lullabies.
Why we love it: It is fun (and a little funny) to hear The Pixies in hushed, almost cooing tones, but these melodies are familiar and the tunes are definitly conducive to productive napping. For more information and a full music selection, please visit www.rockabyebabymusic.com.
Let's Go Everywhere
Jazzy, jammy trio Medeski, Martin, and Wood (John Medeski: keyboards; Billy Martin: percussion; and Chris Wood: bass) have been longtime favorites at New York’s trendy Knitting Factory, and are now taking their sophisticated sound to a younger audience. Their much-anticipated children’s album, released in early 2008, enlists the help of the group’s children as well as the bluesy vocals of Tim Ingrim and edgy story-telling of Jon Lurie. Songs about pirates (who don’t like baths), trains, and new twists on old nursery rhymes are just a few highlights of the recording.
Why we love it: The stylings of MMW are perfect for jazz-loving parents and the CD sounds like something you’d hear at a hip, downtown party (one that doesn’t serve drinks in sippy cups). For more information, visit www.mmw.com.
Here Come the 123s
If you grew up in the 1980s, chances are good that you know this unusual musical duo. Now the quirky Johns (that’s John Flansburgh and John Linnell) are becomming popular with a whole new audience. (This is only the most recent in a line of children’s music from TMBG, be sure to check out No! and Here Come the ABCs, too!)
Why we love it: You can have this CD in your car for months and never get tired of it, plus the disc is interactive with DVD tracks as well. For more information about TMBG, please visit theymightbegiants.com.
Popular recording artists the Barenaked Ladies have just released their first children’s album. A collection of original songs inspired by the band members’ own children (who now outnumber the band two to one!), the CD includes songs about big sisters, allergies, and a “humongous” tree. Already a little wacky and wild, the music of Barenaked Ladies is a perfect fit for little ears.
Why we love it: These are light-hearted tunes for music lovers of any age. As vocalist/guitarist Ed Robertson points out, “We set out to make a record … not strictly a children’s record, but a record that children would really enjoy… making the focus about what our kids like was a truly liberating process and fun for the whole band.” For more information about this recording, please visitwww.bnlmusic.com.
It's a Bam Bam Diddly!
We challenge anyone to sit still while listening to Father Goose’s latest CD. Reggae dancehall veteran Wayne Rhoden (also known as Rankin’ Don) has created a new recording just for kids, drawing from his childhood growing up in Jamaica. Father Goose transcends description. It’s just good and lots and lots of fun!
Why we love it: This music defies genre and age. Father Goose brings in a host of collaborators, including Sheryl Crow, to polish off this recording. For more information on Father Goose, please visitFestivalfiverecords.com.
Dragon Fly Races
Everyone in your family is sure to love the catchy acoustic guitar stylings of Ellis Paul. Folky, toe-tapping, and down-to-earth, Paul pens songs that will stick in your head and you’ll find yourself humming all day long.
Why we love it: Paul is a true music master. This music doesn’t speak down to children; it is full, rich, deeply layered, and poignant. You and your kids will love the magical stories Paul creates. For more information, be sure to visit ellispaul.com.
Welcome to Nelsonville
Billed as folk music for families, The Hollow Trees are a little Squirrel Nut Zippers, a little Arlo Guthrie, and much more fun than your introduction to square dancing in first-grade gym class class.
Why we love it: Songs like “Hootenany” are almost too good to be true. They’re crisp, fresh, and sophisticatedly silly. This is old-time music at its very best. For more information, be sure to visit The Hollow Trees’ home page here.
Rollicking electric guitar, funky lyrics, horns, and more weave a contageous musical delight in Justin Robert’s latest CD Pop Fly. Trying to describe Robert’s sounds is complicated; think Weezer … just far more family friendly.
Why we love it: Horns, rock-star-style guitar playing, soaring vocals, and songs that will make you think of family cookouts and fun-filled warm summer days (punctuated by the sound of the ice cream truck turning the corner down your street). For more information, be sure to visit justinroberts.org.
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