November 18, 2011

In The Mood

New Music For Munchkins And Moms

By Sharon Beesley and Eric Messinger

Laura Veirs
Tumble Bee

Trust us on this: play Laura
Veirs’ new (and first ever) family album on a gray winter day. Suddenly it will
feel like summer all over again. Inspired by the birth of her son and drawing inspiration
from hundreds of songs from the past several centuries, Tumble Bee is a light and gracefully nostalgic record. The
instrumentals are engaging without feeling forced and each song has a quiet
strength–Veirs’ strong suit over the years–which sometimes gets buried in
other children’s albums. “Soldier’s Joy” will have your daughter busting out
dance moves as if at a square dance. “Jamaica Farewell” will inspire a conga
line and “Prairie Dream” will turn little dreamers into ballerinas. The songs,
which feature the likes of Colin Meloy and Brian Blade, are simple enough sing
along to on the first listen. And the use of repetition makes them particularly
easy to learn. Get lost in Tumble Bee
and discover a new musical quirk each time you play it. $15,

Justin RobertsJungle Gym

Round up the kiddos and get
ready to giggle! Justin Roberts packs a punk rock punch in his 7th family musicjustin_roberts.jpg
release. With oddball lyrics like “sailing on a moonlit cardboard box,” Roberts’ newest album is fully
loaded with the usual fanfare of fun rhythms and hilarious tunes. Lyrical
youngins’ will especially love “Gym Class Parachute”—the anticipation of teamwork
is half the fun! More noteworthy songs
include “Snow Day” (who doesn’t love one?), “New Haircut” and “Never Getting
Lost.” Perfectly sung right to your tot’s ears (though parents, it might remind
you of some of the bands you used to listen to in college), it’s no surprise
this was a Grammy-nominated release. Justin and his band, The Not Ready For
Naptime Players, will be jamming at Symphony Space in April. Buy the album now
so your kids can sing along with him live in the spring. Soon, the whole family
will think he is a rockstar! $15,

Legrand Affair

Ever since we got to know Melissa Errico and her
husband, Patrick McEnroe (”The Actress And The Athlete”, August 2008), we’ve
been impressed with her varied contributions to family life. Not only is
she the Founder melissa_errico.jpgof Bowery Babes (a thriving non-profit neighborhood group dedicated to supporting downtown
mothers and families) but she also created a beautiful CD (Lullabies
& Wildflowers
) about the experience of new parenthood. It was a
revelation because, as Errico showed, new moms need their own kind of
lullabies—smart, soothing, melodic expressions of the big changes in their
lives. A Broadway veteran known for her transcendent voice, Errico’s new release,
Legrand Affair, stirs the heart. New parenthood is not a direct theme this
time, but the emotion is certainly there. Errico worked on the songs in bits and pieces over six
years and across eight cities—all the while giving birth to three
children. How’d she do it? With the help of great support, of course,
including the legendary music producer Phil Ramone, a 100-piece symphony
orchestra and the musical genius of the man himself, Michel Legrand. Enjoy this. $18.98,

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