It’s no secret that some of the best songwriters in family music are moms. Artists like Suzi Shelton and Lisa Loeb bring a special sensitivity to the process of writing songs for kids, and their recent albums reflect lyrics both fanciful and tender.
Shawn Colvin (The Starlighter), Jessie Baylin (Strawberry Wind) and Sara Lovell (Wild Is Everywhere) are relative newcomers to the family music genre, and their songs add wonderful new dimensions to the “kindie” canon, as noted in a recent Eat the Marshmallow review article about “unity and diversity” in children’s music.
Given the times, there’s no surprise that several new albums for children reflect pro-social and even political themes (witness the Alphabet Rockers‘ Grammy nominated “woke” lyrics, Red Yarn‘s inclusive “Old Barn,” and Raffi’s continuing activism).
Next month, Kira Willey, who is best known for her mindfulness and yoga songs, videos, and books for kids, will add to this socially conscious trend with her album release Every Voice. With a soft and authoritative voice, Kira invites listeners to discover their power to make change, especially for those who want to be a “Real Girl.” Here are a couple more goodies from “moms who rock:”
- Read what “Power Moms” like Suzi Shelton and Lisa Loeb really want for Mother’s Day (via Mommy Nearest).
- Make any bad day better with this streaming playlist suggested by Bump Club & Beyond, where you can be among the first to hear Kira Willey’s new song “Brand New Day.”
Ants Ants Ants is a new family music project emerging from Portland’s fertile musical landscape. The band plans several concerts, including their album release shows the weekend of May 19 and 20 in Portland (Music Millennium and the Village Ballroom). Please stop by www.antsantsants.com to learn more, join the news list, and grab a free song.
Upcoming June tunes from two of the stalwart pioneers of independent family music who each offer a distinct voice and perspective.
- I Am Your Food by Gunnar Madsen ~ This Bay Area based and GRAMMY nominated songwriter, known for “rib-tickling, off-the-wall, beautifully textured and tender” songwriting, presents a baker’s dozen original songs about edible things. For an especially tasty treat, Gunnar has invited special guests Bill Harley, Frances England and Justin Roberts adding just the right ambiance. It’s available for pre-order now before the June 15 release date. June is Dairy Month. Don’t you think it’s time to hear the perspective of a “Divine Bovine?”
- Back to the Land by Hot Peas ‘N Butter ~This touring multi-lingual NYC based band celebrates roots music with new and traditional songs for their eighth studio album. Environmental concerns are woven into and throughout these tracks. Guests include Laurie Berkner, Dan Zanes and Peter Yarrow (June 21). As Yarrow (of Peter Paul and Mary) remarks, “There are certain ways that music can really help to get us out of the jam that we’re in. It can inspire us and tell us, ‘we are together.’ It can tell us that we have to love the land, to get ‘back to the land.’ That’s the priority. That’s how we’re going to survive.” We couldn’t agree more.