By John Wood
The Teacher’s Lounge
Bill Harley has the uncanny gift of telling stories that are autobiographical and yet speak to the child/student that is indelibly etched in us all. The Teacher’s Lounge is Harley’s 25th foray into the psychiatric trenches of just what the heck elementary school was all about. Through a potent, hilarious mixture of music, stories and poems, Harley takes us in his own personal “way-back machine” to revisit experiences with a new perspective (falls under the category of: “Hey, this’ll be funny in a few years”).
Harley can enthrall and weave a story with the best of them, hence his much-deserved numerous awards and Grammy nominations. Yet his company is grassroots from the basement up. He and his wife, Debbie, personally ship each and every CD. Makes sense, really, that a master storyteller is constantly discovered by word of mouth. And, if you haven’t discovered Bill Harley yet … well, tag you’re it!
The Teacher’s Lounge – More Completely True Stories and Poems, by Bill Harley, Round River Music, 2004; $15 CD; 800-682-9522, www.billharley.com.
Wings of Slumber
The Banana Slug String Band educates as it entertains. The talented quartet delivers 14 songs and 61 minutes of gentle, effective, multiculturally influenced material that celebrates the earth, environment, peace and understanding. And if that’s not enough, this good music will accompany your busy child to the Land of Nod!
“Through these songs we’ve tried to create vivid nature images and to affirm the unconditional love that parents feel toward their children,” says songwriter Steve Van Zandt. This positive process is ably assisted by guest stars George Winston, Laurie Lewis, George Kahumoku, and Barry and Shelley Phillips.
Wings of Slumber, by The Banana Slug String Band, Slug Music, 2004; $14.98 CD; 888-327-5847, www.bananaslugstringband.com.
More music reviews.
United Parenting Publications, March 2005
You can read more of John’s reviews at www.kidzmusic.com.