My daughter really liked the debut CD, “What are the Odds?” by Meredith LeVande. LeVande really connects to children with her music and lyrics. Her songs include “Shake It Loud, ” “In the Garden,” “Air Guitar,” “Circle,” “Bubbles,” “Silly Animal Friends,” “Willow Tree in the Wind” and “Guess What I Am.” They’re whimsical and educational. LeVande’s career began as a successful singer/songwriter on the college circuit, where her shows often featured introspective songs about childhood struggles and finding one’s own true self. Her identity as a musician then launched when she became inspired to write traditional children’s songs. Her last album “Monkey Monkey Music” became an instant hit with families and earned a grassroots reputation as a classic children’s record. “What are the Odds?” will be released on August 31st.
Oran Etkin, an internationally acclaimed jazz/world artist and composer whose NYC based music classes for children are endorsed by Harvey Keitel, Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber, will release “Wake Up Clarinet!” on September 14th. Etkin was a featured performer on Putamayo Kid’s award-winning compilation album “Jazz Playground” earlier this year. With his new album, Etkin features the all-star band, featuring Jason Marsalis on drums, and the talents of soulful jazz vocalist Charenee Wade, providing an introduction to jazz and other styles. I really like this CD for it’s diverse and unique rhythms and sounds.
Elizabeth Mitchell celebrates the beauty of quiet moments with “Sunny Day,” releasing on October 5th. Mitchell, her family and a host of guest artists weave a tapestry of spirited and loving songs, reminding us of the beauty of the natural world and the magic to be found during the course of a day. It features performances with Mitchell’s husband and musical partner, Daniel Littleton, their nine year-old daughter Storey and Storey’s cousins and friends. The album features two original songs written by Storey and guest performers include Levon Helm, Dan Zanes, Jon Langford and the Children of Agape Choir of South Africa. There’s something here for every musical taste, from traditional American folk songs, to Japanese and Korean nursery songs, to fresh new arrangements of popular songs by Bill Withers, Chuck Berry and Augustus Pablo.
The Flannery Brothers have a really cool sound! Their release, The New Explorers Club, is set for release in October. They’re two brothers from Sandy Hook, New Jersey. Their music is a combo of old time dance energy and hip contemporary sounds. Their new album has a collection of songs including “Big Kite,” “Swallowed a Bug,” “Green Submarine,” “Quiet Place,” “Best Adventures,” and others. They’ve performed at the Bangor Opera House, Boston World Trade Center, Hoboken City’s KiddiePalooza and the Green River Festival in Massachusetts, sharing the stage with big names like Dan Zanes and Friends, Cake, The Felice Brothers, Elizabeth Mitchell and Dog on Fleas.