By Marilyn McPhie
Feel the day's cares drain away as you share the age-old, tried-and-true art of the spoken word. You'll laugh, you'll sigh; you may even start telling stories of your own. But how do you choose from the waterfall of spoken-word recordings clamoring for a spin in your CD player? Here are this year's winners.
Gold Award Winners
Cooee, Paul Taylor and Don Spencer, Kiva Records, 2003; $15; www.paultaylor.ws, 307-721-8853. G'day, mates! Here's a virtual visit to the land down under. This CD is chock-full of songs and stories with spoken connections to link them all together. Have you ever wondered just what the words mean in, say, "Kookaburra Sits on The Old Gum Tree" or "You'll Come A-Waltzing Matilda With Me" or even "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport"? You'll find the answers here. That and the music of the didgeridoo - an aboriginal instrument made from eucalyptus logs hollowed out by termites.
Lights & Laughter: Joel ben Izzy Spins Hanukkah Tales, Joel ben Izzy, Old City Press, 2001; $17 CD, $15 cassette; www.storypage.com, 510-883-0510. Don't forget to invite Joel ben Izzy to your Hanukkah party. Or get the CD and invite yourself to his. He begins by lighting the candles (you can hear the scratch of the matches) and having a friend sing the blessings. Then, it's on to the stories. Of course, there's the origin of Hanukkah (with a few details you may never have heard before), together with folktales and personal anecdotes. In between the assortment of stories, there is rousing music from the Kings of Klezmer that will have you tapping your toes, whatever your faith.
To see winning albums for other age groups, return to NAPPA 2003 Award Winners: Spoken Word & Storytelling.
Marilyn McPhie has been a professional storyteller for nearly two decades. She performs around the country and is a member of the National Storytelling Network. She is also a mother and grandmother.