Reviews of Products I love

Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

51VFb1C2hiL__SY496_BO1,204,203,200_Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star does just that. It has four twinkling, music making, fun to press buttons at the top. This lights and…more

¡Uno, Dos, Tres con Andrés!

Uno, Dos, Tres con Andres - CD cover art - small¡Uno, Dos, Tres con Andrés!

Bilingual music para la familia

I think it is important for children to have some knowledge of other cultures. After all the United States is one giant melting pot. The new music CD ¡Uno, Dos, Tres con Andrés!  by Andrés Salguero is a great way to immerse children in a new culture in a fun way. The mix of English and Spanish helps little ones learn another language and appreciate other a new music style. Lively and entertaining.

Andrés Salguero’s ¡Uno, Dos, Tres con Andrés! is an interactive celebration of Latin culture for kids and families. Listen to the debut CD – filled with salsa, bachata, plena, mariachi and more – or find a live performance near you.

About AndrésAndres Salguero_guitar laugh_photo credit Jonathan Edelman_72 dpi

Andrés Salguero, one of the most exciting new voices on the family music scene, is going to make you bailar y aprender! A native of Colombia, both his debut CD and his live performances are infused with south of the border sensibilities.

Andrés has deep roots in the Latin music world, with over a decade of experience playing Latin Jazz, Salsa, Norteño and Latin folkloric music. He also brings a depth of musical knowledge, holding a Doctorate degree in music from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

His carefully crafted songs earned him the first prize in the National Composition Contest in Colombia. In his music, there is always something to listening for, since he creates art with a purpose. In 2010 he co-wrote and produced a play based on interviews with DREAMERS, young immigrants who were brought to the US as children. Andrés’ songs incorporate themes such as immigration and cultural understanding and celebrate the rich Latino heritage in the US.

Andrés had his first studio experience at age 8, recording a full length record with a children’s group. Learning guitar from his father, he absorbed many of the folk traditions from Latin America. A career playing guitar, clarinet and saxophone followed, with Andrés joining numerous groups of all genres, from an opera company to a ska band.

Andrés found his true calling playing Latin family music in 2009. Now he performs his live ¡Uno, Dos, Tres con Andrés! kids’ show more than 200 times each year at venues large and small, from full band performances at the Smithsonian Institution’s Discovery Theater to solo appearances at schools and libraries throughout the country.

Want to keep up with all things Andrés Salguero? You can like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

Ready to buy?  Head on over to ¡Uno, Dos, Tres con Andrés! and get ya a copy or two.

Linda Marie Smith new album Mearra – Selkie from the Sea

PromoImageMearra – Selkie from the Sea

I love this CD. The music instantly transports the listener to a mythical time. Soothing and beautiful. Calming and mystical. Alluring melodies and an angelic voice combine to bring life to the story of Mearra – Selkie from the Sea. Wonderful.

The ancient Celtic legend of the Selkie, a mythical seal with the mysterious ability to metamorphose into a human being, is the setting for Chicago-based singer/songwriter Linda Marie Smith’s fourth album, Mearra – Selkie from the Sea, to be released in February 2014.  (Linda Marie Smith, $15.00, for ages 9 – adult, run time 42 minutes.)

Mearra – Selkie from the Sea transports listeners, inviting chldren and adults alike to use their imaginations as they enter an enchanted world that has inspired unnamed (1)writers and composers like Yeats, Synge, and Arnold Bax for centuries.  The highly evocative “Ian’s Song” sets a mood of Celtic mystery.  “Mearra” follows, and the listener is swept up in an expansive cloud of orchestral colors created by strings, percussion, and synthesizer that conjures images of sea, sky, and a wild, rocky coastline.  The melodic line and tastefully expressive phrasing of Linda Marie Smith’s vocals effectively carry the story while never distracting from it.  “All This and More” delivers a change of pace with something of a Nashville country sound, which effectively introduces a human element into the watery, mystical world of the Selkie.  The jazziest number on the album is “Heaven Knows,” with its upbeat rhythm set by piano, concertina, and enthusiastic hand clapping.  “Surrender to the Sea” opens with a piano interlude reminiscent of Claude Debussy, and the vocal line proclaims, “I hear them calling,” offering a hint of what is to come.

Linda Marie Smith reflects, “As a child I was captivated by fairy tales and folklore.  I loved being transported to other worlds where the impossible was possible.  These mystical adventures fired my imagination, which is why I think I eventually became a songwriter.  Folklore involves fantastic people or animals and brings our attention to things we value most highly, fear most deeply, and hope for most ardently.  My spirit and childlike innocence were rekindled while doing research for Mearra – Selkie from the Sea.  The Selkie myth inspired and challenged me to shed my own skin, reveal my true self, and boldly express my heartfelt desires.”

Want to keep up with all things Linda Marie Smith? You can like her on Facebook.

Ready to buy?  Head on over to Linda’s Website and get ya a copy or two. Available in February 2014. I received a copy of the CD for review.

‘MAMA DONI’S JEWISH HOLIDAY PARTY’ – DVD

PromoImage‘MAMA DONI’S JEWISH HOLIDAY PARTY’ – DVD

I am a Christian, and the way I read the Bible, Jesus was a Jew. Therefore I also celebrate Jewish Holidays. Mama Doni gives Jewish and Christian children alike a way to celebrate the holidays with her new DVD Mama Doni’s Jewish Holiday Party. I received a copy for review and I absolutely love it. Not only does the DVD have great music, ya also get to learn how about Chanukah, Passover and Shabbat. Jewish Holiday Party also includes Mama Doni’s recipe for traditional latkes. If ya don’t know what a latke is, well it’s a really delicious potato pancake. Traditions such as Chanukah Gilt and the lighting of the menorah are highlighted in the video. Fantastic gift idea. Includes a CD of the songs. How cool is that?

About Mama Doni:

 Embracing and honoring Jewish tradition with a fresh, new approach, two-time Parents’ Choice winner Mama Doni (Doni Zasloff) sings, dances, and cooks her way through the holidays in a fun and inspirational DVD, Mama Doni’s Jewish Holiday Party, and its companion CD soundtrack, Mama Doni: The Acoustic Jewish Holiday Collection.

 There has never been a mama quite like Mama Doni, who manages to score a perfect 10 in the world of family music with a joyful celebration of Jewish tradition, culture, and ruach (spirit) set to the colorful sounds and vibrant rhythms of contemporary American bluegrass.

With so many Christmas entertainment options available to families, Mama Doni’s Jewish Holiday Party is ready to take its place on the shelf, filling a need for the millions of children who celebrate the Jewish holidays and for audiences who would like to learn about them.

Focusing on three Jewish holidays — Chanukah, Passover, and Shabbat — Mama Doni’s Jewish Holiday Party promotes an understanding of Jewish traditions, in Mama Doni’s warm, contemporary style.  Each episode tells the story of the holiday, offers exciting, original music, and includes a scrumptious cooking “how to” segment for such wondrous Jewish dishes as Traditional Latkes, Uncle Milton’s Challah, and Mama Doni’s very special Matzo Pizzza.

Check Out The Trailer:

Want to keep up with all things Mama Doni ? You can like her on Facebook.

Ready to buy?  Head on over to Mama Doni’s Website and get ya a copy.

FRANCES ENGLAND’S ‘BLINK OF AN EYE’

REVISED-blink-cover-smaller-resolution-4-450x400BLINK OF AN EYE’

SPARKLING, NEW ACOUSTIC POP KIDS’/FAMILY ALBUM
TO BE RELEASED IN AUGUST

WITH ELIZABETH MITCHELL, CASPAR BABYPANTS,
MOLLY LEDFORD & MORGAN TAYLOR (GUSTAFER YELLOWGOLD)

Love this CD. Music is great for children and adults as well. I enjoyed listening to it even without the grandkids around. Mellow and entertaining. One of my favorite children’s music CDs wonderful rhythm, lyrics and vocals. Let’s your imagination run with vivid imagery. Delightful. Love Frances England’s style.

“England has a truly original sound, marrying lo-fi indie rock with simple lyrics that speak to both preschoolers and young grade-schoolers.” — Real Simple magazine
SAN FRANCISCO – The long wait is over!  Award-winning, San Francisco-based family recording artist Frances England looks ahead with pride to the August 6 release of her greatly anticipated, fourth CD for kids and families, Blink of an Eye ($13.99, for ages 5 – 12, run time 28 minutes).

Showcasing eleven Frances England originals and produced by Grammy winner Dean Jones, Blink of an Eye features guest appearances by kindie music luminaries Elizabeth Mitchell, Caspar Babypants, Morgan Taylor (Gustafer Yellowgold), and Molly Ledford (Lunch Money)

Frances England has a gift for capturing the wonders, simple pleasures, and beauty of childhood, and she frames her music in ways that both children and parents can appreciate.  In the vein of Simon & Garfunkel or Jack Johnson, the sparkly, acoustic pop songs on Blink of an Eye are both catchy and heartfelt, the kinds of songs that linger in your head long after listening.  Indeed, Blink of an Eye is imbued with a subtlety that encourages repeat listening.

As Frances England’s own kids have grown, her songs have followed suit.  Frances explains, “Blink of an Eye is very different from my other children’s albums.  My boys are growing up, and more and more, they are listening to their own music and deciding for themselves who they like.  Bruno Mars, Adam Levine, and Taylor Swift are suddenly played alongside Lunch Money and Caspar Babypants.  Blink of an Eye is geared for a slightly older audience than my previous albums and has a quiet pop sensibility about it that I hope both kids and parents will like.”

Want to keep up with all things Frances England? You can like her on Facebook.

Ready to buy?  Head on over to Frances England’s website and get ya a copy.

15 Songs Every Kid Should Know (and will Love!)

598159915 Songs Every Kid Should Know (and will Love!)    

Various Artists
Bossy Frog Productions
6 August 2013

These are the songs I remember from my early childhood. Love how these artists have put their own spin on these classics. Each is done in a wonderfully unique style. My favorite is “Shoofly” Cajun style. Would make an absolutely adorable gift for the kids in your life. Such an eclectic mix of music styles. I love this CD. Want to give a listen click on the Bossy Frog website link at end of review.522667_10151339745971342_1728776876_n

Award-winning children’s musician and certified music therapist Jeffrey Friedberg has invited some of today’s best performers of Cajun, bluegrass, rockabilly, jazz, Irish, roots, African, Cuban, soul, funk, and folk music to join him in putting together a collection of songs that every child should know.  15 Songs Every Kid Should Know (and will Love!), the first in a projected series of “15 Songs” recordings from Friedberg’s Bossy Frog Productions, is set for release on August 6.

The fifteen classic children’s songs on 15 Songs Every Kid Should Know (and will Love!) form a body of work that seeks to preserve our heterogeneous culture, like an old-time potluck where people come together to show off their distinctive gifts and to relish the contributions of others. 

305657_10151468213831342_687683649_n15 Songs Every Kid Should Know (and will Love!) takes off with the deep-rooted, soulful quality and compelling rhythmic energy of Adam Falcon’s rendition of “5 Green & Speckled Frogs.”  The durable American standard, “Shoo Fly,” gets a load of Cajun spice from The Upsouth Twisters, courtesy of some authentic harmonica and squeezebox accordion playing.  Steve Bernstein’s traditional New Orelans trumpet stylings layered over a “shuffling rhythm” from the bass and drums provide the perfect setting for Frankie D’s distinctive basso profundo on “Itsy Bitsy Spider.”  Other highlights include more Cajun sounds with Jon Pousette-Dart’s vocal and virtuoso guitar work on “Waltzing Matilda,” the classic country string band authenticity The Bossy Frog Band imparts to “Skip to My Lou” and “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain,” a Cuban-Styled “Old McDonald” featuring Mayra Casales (considered to be ont of the most gifted and versatile percussionists of her generation), and John Hart’s finger picking teamed up with Lynn Stein’s smooth country mezzo on “I’ve Been Working on the Railraod.”  Singer Big Jim Wheeler and honky-tonk piano virtuoso Kenny Margolis channel Jerry Lee Lewis with a rockabilly version of “If You’re Happy & You Know It.”  “Wheels on the Bus” is treated with some cool African drumming performed by Chiku Awai, joined by the Montessori Center of Nyack Kids.  A sweet bluegrass “Hush Little Baby,” enhanced by some tasty dobro playing, is offered by Alice Leon and Jonathan Gregg.  The album comes to a jazzy close with almost everyone joining in on “Froggie Went a Courtin’.”

Want to keep up with all things Jeffrey Friedberg and The Bossy Frog Band? You can like em on Facebook and follow em on Twitter.

Ready to buy?  Head on over to Bossy Frog’ Band’s website and get ya a copy of two.

Novica Mother’s Day $40 Gift Code Giveaway

p87101_2 Mother’s Day is fast approaching. Have you found that extra special gift for your Mom? Novica sent me two $4o Gift Codes so I could check out their beautiful artisan crafted Mother’s Day gift ideas. I used one for myself and one of y’all will win the other one. If ya haven’t heard of Novica let me tell you a little about them. They are associated with National Geographic. This team finds…more