By John Wood
Gold Award Winners
Bottle of Sunshine, Milkshake, Milkshake Music, 2004; $14.99 CD; www.milkshakemusic.com. Love the voice, love the songs, love the production, love this CD!
Fairy Moon - Songs of the Ring, Maria Sangiolo, Raging River Records, 2004; $15.99 CD; www.mariasangiolo.com. Pure vocals, songs that touch the heart and solid production.
Gary Rosen's Pet Sounds, Gary Rosen, GMR Records, 2005; $14.98 CD; www.garyrosenkidsmusic.com. Bristling with immediacy, this brilliant album offers a pleasing mix of new tunes and classics, written with former partner Bill Shontz.
Here Come the ABCs, They Might Be Giants, Disney Sound, 2005; $12.98 CD; www.disneyrecords.com. The TMBG duo presents a wildly creative and sonically sound assault on the alphabet. This one may spend as much time in Mom and Dad's CD player as in the kids' players. Check out their NAPPA Gold Award-winning DVD release too.
Hey, Picasso, Jessica Harper, Rounder Records, 2004; $14.98 CD; www.rounder.com. Harper's voice dances on a bed of world music, with songs that gently celebrate themes of acceptance and inspiration.
Kid Pan Alley - Nashville, Various Artists, Nashville Chamber Orchestra, 2005; $15 CD; www.nco.org. This album celebrates a children's songwriting project in which Nashville greats coached the kids and super singers performed their songs. Love this one!
Little Red Wagon, Timmy Abell, Upstream Records, 2005; $15 CD; www.timmyabell.com. Lovely inspirational songs that evoke a kinder, gentler time.
Merry Fishes to All, Trout Fishing in America, Trout Records, 2004; $15 CD; www.troutmusic.com. These guys will have even Mom and Dad snorting milk out their noses!
My Daddy Is Scratchy, Jamie Broza, Good Mood Records, 2005; $14.98 CD; www.goodmoodrecords.com. This show tune approach to parenthood showcases great arrangements, song structure and situations that parents know well.
Pegleg Tango, Captain Bogg & Salty, Hendrickson/Hoskins LLC, 2005; $15 CD; www.eatalime.com. This theatrical-musical group from the Pacific Northwest will trim your mainsail and more.
We All Laugh in the Same Language, Marla Lewis, Plum Juice Records, 2005; $15 CD; www.marlalewis.com. A variety of bouncy musical styles and strong creative lyrics are marinated with a honey-dipped voice.
Honors Award Winners
Alphabet Songs Vol. II, Steve Weeks; Steve Weeks Music, 2004; $12 CD; www.steveweeks.com. Songsmith Steve Weeks is back with nary a false note as he shares nine more letters of the alphabet (I to Q, this time). The songs are highly creative, finely performed and ably produced.
Bee Positive, David Hall; Karenna Song Music Publishing, 2004; $12 CD; www.beepositive.bz. Out of the Pacific Northwest, like a fresh breeze comes a new children’s artist with a fun and folksy pack of original tunes that are filled with light-hearted humor and sung in a gentle, accessible voice.
Early Morning Knee Slappin’ Tunes, Mike Whitla; Deep Down Productions, 2005; $16 CD; www.deepdownproductions.com. Whether channeling Woody Guthrie, Bob Marley, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” or “Teddy Bear’s Picnic,” Whitla’s arrangements are sharp, diverse and ready to rock. His musical history is sound and his voice is fresh.
Food ’N’ Fun – A Rockin’ Celebration of Good Eatin’, Gary Lapow; Springboard Records, 2005; $15 CD; www.garylapow.com. Who knew that eating good foods and exercising could sound so good!
The Great Green Squishy Mean Concert, Monty Harper; Monty Harper Productions, 2005; $15 CD; www.montyharper.com. This live concert contains a kid’s-eye view of a fun-filled, upbeat collection of well-written, participatory tunes.
I Love My Shoes, Eric Ode; Deep Rooted Music, 2005; $14 CD; www.ericode.com. This seasoned children’s performer brings to the table a complete feast of new, energy-filled songs with fun lyrics that invite participation.
Kimmy Schwimmy Vol. 1, Kim Duncan; North Corner Music Group, 2005; $15 CD; www.kimmyschwimmy.com. Tried and true, kid-tested tunes written and performed by a preschool music educator who’s really got the goods!
Mouse Jamboree, Mary Kaye; Mary Kaye Music, 2005; $15 CD; www.marykayemusic.com. Clever songs, nice arrangements and pleasant, gentle harmonies make this collection easy-on-the-ears.
Nature’s ABCs, Sammie Haynes; A Gentle Wind, 2004; $14.95 CD; www.gentlewind.com. Some down-home country pickin’ tunes, well sung by Haynes as she explores nature and the great big world we all share.
Purple Burt, Mitch Friedman; Meechmusic, 2005; $11 CD; www.purpleburt.com. This is a zany, brainy and engaging concept CD that features an invisible purple boy named Burt, whose best friend is a snapping turtle. Get the picture? Oh, did I mention he’s colorblind? Lots of silly fun!
Shake a Hand, Dave Fromer; Dave Fromer Music, 2005; $15 CD; www.davefromermusic.com. You’ll feel a lot better about yourself after listening to this uplifting collection. Fromer’s golden-dipped voice is a definite asset to presenting songs of acceptance and self-esteem.
Ship of Chocolate Chips, Joel Frankel; Crunchy Records, 2005; $15 CD; www.joelfrankel.com. Frankel’s fourth children’s CD is a musical treat that will tickle your sweet tooth all the way down to your funny bone. An imaginative mixture of musical tall tales and intimate insights into the child within us all.
Shoes, Susan Reed; 2004; $15 CD; www.susanreed.com. Playing more instruments than you can shake a tambourine at, Reed delivers an exuberance that leaps off the disc and gets you into your dancin’ shoes!
Soap Soup, Sam Glaser; Glaser Musicworks, 2004; $14.99 CD; www.samglaser.com. Twenty fine family songs, nicely done and presented with energy and love for all.
Return to NAPPA 2005 Award Winners: Music to see winners for other age groups.