“The queen of children’s music.” – People Magazine
One of my favorite things about elementary school was music class. I grew up with a mom who played guitar and sang songs and I loved learning the lyrics to sing along. When I started learning songs in school, I’d tell my mom how the songs went so we could learn and play them at home. They were usually fun classic kid songs and it was a really great way to bond with my mom. I think a lot about that now since my oldest is now in Kindergarten and just the other day she came home singing a song I had never heard called “Music Has a Steady Beat”. I found the chords and lyrics and even a video (thank you, YouTube!) and we were off singing the song at home. Her face lit up that I could somehow know the song, too! It felt almost magical.
Music has a way of bringing together generations and I love hearing classical children’s music, which is one reason why our household loves the children’s singer/songwriter, Laurie Berkner. I know I’ve reviewed her CDs many times before on my blog (see my past reviews here and here and here) and I’m happy to announce that her 10th album is coming out and it’s ALL about children’s classic music. Laurie Berkner’s Favorite Classic Kids’ Songs is a two-disc set including 51 well-loved, traditional children’s songs, plus six “bonus” tracks of favorite Laurie Berkner originals.
Says Laurie, “I grew up with many of these songs, and I’m sure parents and grandparents will remember a lot of them from their own childhood. I’m excited about sharing these classics with kids who may not have heard them before and also introducing my versions of songs that might already be family favorites. In the true folk tradition, I’ve added some of my own lyrics and my own spin to many of these traditional songs. I’ve kept a folk or rock feel for most of the numbers, with a little reggae thrown in here and there for fun!”
Lovely! For those who don’t know Laurie, she is a former preschool music teacher who became an indie rocker extraordinaire overnight. She began selling her music over ten years ago on her own independent label, Two Tomatoes Records. Her songs are catchy, fun and her musical talent backs up her love of making music for children. She has a crystal clear voice and her songs are perfect for preschoolers and young children. We have seen her skyrocket in fame when she started to appear in Nick Jr. videos and is now featured regularly on Sprout in a feature called ‘Sing It Laurie’.
While beautifully capturing the up-to-date sound of The Laurie Berkner Band that fans know and love, Laurie Berkner’s Favorite Classic Kids’ Songs is the only album Laurie has ever released that is comprised almost exclusively of traditional songs. Highlights include a rollicking “When The Saints Go Marching In,” an “Amazing Grace” that achieves its depth of meaning by parsing away the non-essentials, and a funky, hip-hop take on “This Old Man,” with additional rhymes penned by Laurie. Other highlights include a duet performance of “There’s A Hole In The Bucket” with Laurie Berkner and Brady Rymer that’s filled with spontaneous hijinks, a “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” that hits a home run in the third inning with its swinging jazz style, and “Old King Cole,” featuring the fantastic fiddle of Kenny Kosek (Laurie Anderson, Steve Goodman, John Denver, James Taylor, Jerry Garcia), as well as renowned jazz trumpeter Warren Vaché (the Benny Goodman Band, the Concord Super Band, Bucky Pizzarelli, George Wein, Howard Alden).
Laurie Berkner’s Favorite Classic Kids’ Songs takes Laurie Berkner back to her roots. When she started out as a preschool music specialist in the early ‘90s, before she was writing her own kids’ music, Laurie sang every traditional song that she knew and found herself scrambling to discover more so she would have new songs each time her classes met. These tunes taught Laurie a great deal about music as a living cultural connection to the past and served to remind her of what, as a child, she had loved about music. The Laurie Berkner Band features: Laurie Berkner, vocals/guitar; Susie Lampert, keyboards; Brady Rymer, bass; and Bobby Golden, drums/percussion.
LAURIE BERKNER’S FAVORITE CLASSIC KIDS’ SONGS TRACK LISTING:
- Over In The Meadow
- There Were Five In The Bed
- The Animal Fair
- I’ve Been Working On The Railroad
- Take Me Out To The Ballgame
- Rum Sum Sum
- Children Go Where I Send Thee
- The New River Train
- Where is Thumbkin?
- The Erie Canal
- Shortnin’ Bread
- Daisy Daisy (Bicycle Built For Two)
- The Wheels On The Bus
- There’s A Hole In The Bucket
- Froggie Went A Courtin’
- The Itsy Bitsy Spider
- I Gave My Love A Cherry (The Riddle Song)
- O Susannah
- Jack In The Box
- Loch Lomond
- One Two Buckle My Shoe
- There’s A Little Wheel A-Turnin’ In My Heart
- All The Pretty Little Horses
- When The Saints Go Marching In
- Bumblebee (Buzz Buzz)
- Moon Moon Moon
- Under A Shady Tree
- The Cat Came Back
- Little Boy Blue
- Sing A Song Of Sixpence
- ABCD Medley (Twinkle Twinkle/Row Row
- Row Your Boat/Frère Jacques)
- This Old Man
- I Love My Rooster
- White Coral Bells
- Old King Cole
- The Ants Go Marching
- Little Red Caboose
- All Through The Night
- Open Shut Them
- The More We Get Together
- Hush Little Baby
- A-Tisket A-Tasket
- The Great Big Dog
- If You’re Happy And You Know It
- My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
- Down Down Baby
- Billy Boy
- This Little Light Of Mine
- She’ll Be Comin’ Round The Mountain
- Amazing Grace
- Rocketship Run
- Victor Vito
- We Are The Dinosaurs
Laurie Berkner’s Favorite Classic Kids’ Songs is available wherever favorite albums are sold, at www.twotomatoes.com, and at all digital retailers, including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify, and more.
Nov. 22 – Keswick Theatre – Glenside, PA – Holiday Show!
Dec. 12 – Duke Energy Center – Raleigh, NC – Holiday Show!
Dec. 19 – Tarrytown Music Hall – Tarrytown, NY – Holiday Show!
Hot off the Presses! I’m excited to tell my readers the fantastic and just released news that Laurie Berkner & Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers is doing a three picture book deal. Awesome! We Are the Dinosaurs, based on one of Berkner’s most popular songs, will release in Spring 2017 and will be illustrated by Ben Clanton. Pillowland, a gorgeous lullaby destined to become a beloved bedtime book, is due out in Fall 2017 and will be illustrated by Camille Garoche. Monster Boogie, a hit at Berkner’s live shows, is scheduled for Summer 2018, also to be illustrated by Ben Blanton. I look forward to reading and doing a review post on all.
List Price: $13.98/CD; $12.99 for digital download