Kids CDs make great stocking stuffers… Here are some quick reviews of CDs worthy of gift-giving this holiday:
Recess Monkey – Wonderstuff
The Seattle-based band Recess Monkey has produced an outrageously eclectic concept album that introduces children to a wide range of musical styles while telling a fun story. The double disc song cycle spins a colorful tale about Everett The Wonderbee and his struggle to save his home from a mysterious evil force called The Gray. Kids will laugh and clap at all the silliness, while parents will appreciate the Beatles, Beach Boys, and Motown influences in the songs. More info here.
Buck Howdy with BB – Chickens
Yet another irresistible country-flavored CD for the whole family. Buck Howdy and BB know how to have a good time, and they do it in style with a mix of western swing, big band, pop, and Dixieland jazz. From toe-tapping originals to zany covers of rock classics, like The Coasters’ “Yakety Yak,” this CD is a fun collection of songs for all ages. More info here.
Maria Sangiolo – Under The Mystic Sea
Maria Sangiolo’s third family CD has an aquatic theme, celebrating the ocean and the creatures that call it home. Sangiolo has an immediately charming voice, like a cross between the folk of Judy Collins and the pop of Mandy Moore. Her songs are melodic folk-pop tunes about polar bears, sharks, and penguins. “Giggly Girl” is destined to become a classic. Very appealing for even the youngest kids, but highly listenable for grown-ups too! More info here.
Various Artists – Down At The Sea Hotel
A beautiful collection of lullabies from folk artists Guy Davis, Lucy Kaplansky, The Wailin’ Jennys, John Gorka, Lynn Miles, and Eliza Gilkyson. The songs come from a diverse group of songwriters, including Neil Young, Billy Joel, Don Henley, Steve Earle, and Carole King. Whoever picked these tracks knew how to create a gentle, flowing mix of quiet time music. Parents will appreciate the exquisite instrumentation and production. You’ll be listening to this one even after the kids are in bed. More info here.