• 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, lauraveirs.com

    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, justinroberts.org

    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, amazon.com