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

American Playground

American Playground

Fall 2013 Music
Ages: 2 - 8 yrs.
Producer: Putumayo Kids
CD Price: $14.98

American Playground presents a collection of ten classic children's songs reinterpreted by some of the country's top children's music performers. Tracks include Johnny Bregar's harmonica driven stomp on "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain," Aaron Watson and Elizabeth McQueen's swing take on the classic "Blue Skies," and Victor Johnson's gentle country blues interpretation of "This Little Light (of Mine)." One of the album's most successful tracks is Guy Davis' original, easy-stepping blues "We All Need More Kindness in This World," while Elizabeth Mitchell takes the Carter Family's depression era classic "Keep On the Sunny Side" and makes it sound contemporary. The mighty Dan Zanes & Friends with guest singer Barbara Brousal put their stamp on the classic bluegrass tune "Saro Jane," while Diane Taraz presents a beautiful, sparse acoustic "Oh, Susannah." Randy Kaplan renders a country, mandolin-aided version of Bob Dylan's "Forever Young," transforming it into a very logical children's song. Buck Howdy adds country swing to "You Are My Sunshine," before Phil Rosenthal and friends finishes up the festivities with the classic Woody Guthrie anthem "This Land is Your Land." American Playground includes 20 pages of colorful and informative liner notes, historical kid-friendly information about the songs, plus details about each featured artist.

American Playground is a celebration of the music that helped create and distill the American dream, and this fine new CD is a welcomed reminder of simpler times, when America itself was growing up.

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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