Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Dance to the Weather by Natural Cloud Cover Bands

Dance to the Weather by Natural Cloud Cover Bands

Spring 2013 Music
Ages: 2 - 9 yrs.
CD Price: $15.00

Here is a cool concept album. At a time when weather is increasingly becoming a source of worry and occasionally threat, three children's music bands have joined forces to create an album of reassurance, science education and fascinating facts. Meteorologist Mish Michaels, familiar to New Englanders and weather junkies for her nearly 20 years of forecasting and adventure on The Weather Channel, spearheaded the project. Michaels contacted children's music duo Leeny and Steve, and involved two other fabulous kids' bands in the project?Mama Mac and the Swingset Mamas. The resulting CD features thirteen fun tracks of weather related music.

The album begins with the jaunty question "What Will the Weather Be," playfully posed by Leeny and Steve (Ilene Altman and Steve Equi), who also contribute the rocking "The Weather Dance," where the singer names popular songs of the day, this time transposed to weather patterns. Elsewhere, they add "Watching Clouds" (with a catchy Dar Williams meets the Ramones arrangement), and the semi-spoken word, fact filled "Weather Extremes," set to a wonderfully herky-jerky blues rhythm.

Amy and Mike Elkins are the creators of Mama Mac, who is a fun-loving character who inspires children through music. Mama Mac contributions includes the brilliant song of hope "Shine," the wistful "Snowflakes Ballet," the banjo driven stomp "Jump in a Pile of Leaves," and the Beach Boys inspired "Down the Shore."

The Swingset Mamas are Lizzie Swan and Marlowe Bechmann, children's music performers from upstate New York, who contribute such diverse tunes as the country-tinged tale of "Thunder," the Roches-inspired a capella of "My Sunny Day," that leads directly into the rumba of "Sunscreen Dance." They are also featured on the spoken "Rain," and the album's reggae closer "Colors of the Rainbow."

As one would expect, the album features eco-friendly packaging, with artwork by weather watcher Nalina Atamian (age 5). Though lyrics are not included, they are available on Mish Michaels' informative website.

Lahri Bond   ©2013 Parents' Choice
Lahri Bond is a father, a writer, music historian and an art professor in Western Massachusetts. His published books include Spinning Tales Weaving Hope (with the Stories For World Change Network) for New Society Press and People of the Earth (coauthored with Ellen Evert Hopman) for Destiny Books.

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