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NAPPA 2003: Music for Ages 9 and Up
By John Wood
Gold Award Winners
It's a Puzzle, by Trout Fishing in America, Trout Records, 2003; $14.98; www.troutmusic.com, 888-439-8342. The latest outing of two talented chaps, this recording ties bluegrass and rockabilly musical roots to sharp witty lyrics. The musicianship is top-notch, the singing is great, the arrangements rock and the recording - clichés aside - is truly for the whole family.
African Playground, by various artists, Putumayo World Music, 2003; $15.98; www.putumayokids.com. Another comprehensive cultural experience from the Putumayo brain trust, this CD highlights the music of Africa with traditional, upbeat instrumentation - a transporting experience. The liner notes are highly informative for older children and parents.
This Land Is Your Land - Songs of Unity, by various artists, Music for Little People, 2002; $15.98 CD, $9.98 cassette; www.mflp.com, 707-923-3991. This ambitious and rewarding tribute to America features stories, songs and poetry that depict the nation's social struggles and triumphs and espouse liberty and justice for all. A hidden pleasure is Brian Johnson of AC/DC singing "If I Had a Hammer."
PAN style="FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 14pt">Honors Award Winners
TRONG>The Body Tune Up, Mike Sexton, All Children's Hospital, 2002; $10 CD; www.rockwiththedoc.com. Well-crafted songs and performances - with a medical angle.
TRONG>Cooee, Paul Taylor and Don Spencer, Kiva Records, 2003; $15 CD; www.paultaylor.ws. A warm and wonderful recounting, through story and song, of the remarkable history of Australia.
TRONG>Rainforest and Tropical Animals, David Williams, Trapdoor Records, 2003; $15 CD; www.davidwilliamsmusic.com. Edutaining, original songs presented in an engaging variety of styles. You try writing about a puffer fish!