It’s no secret I am a rocker and am, well, raising my son to be another little fan. But I also knows Wonder Boy enjoys country and, well, pretty much any music he comes across. You can find him shakin’ it in front of the Dress Barn on the way to Target or spinning around in the Chili’s bathroom to a good song.
So when a chance to check out a bluegrass album came, I thought carefully about it.
Was it my type of music? No.
Was it his?
So I decided to give it a go.
Astrograss’ second full length kid’s album (they originally formed as an adult group) is a blend of classic American songs and ones written for today’s kids with a sprinkle of silly, perfect to blow into empty bottles as accompaniment.
I love this statement from Astrograss’s Jordan Shapiro.
”I believe that bluegrass music, and all American folk music, is essential listening for kids, and I also believe that the purity of the music is important. We made The Colored Pencil Factory without the use of any amplifiers, drums, pedals, or ‘effects.’ We recorded the album in our fiddle player’s living room and played the songs just the way we’d play them at a park or in a kitchen. It’s pure, organic, natural Americana.”
That was just the feeling I got listening to the album. It was a jam, just like the ones we see in front of the coffee shop or in the park downtown, always stopping to hear a minute. And that kind of music, impromptu and happy, was always a suprise and delight to him.
And with new, unfamiliar instruments like the banjo, I got to use it as a music lesson to teach my son new sounds, new words, and how to appreciate a good fiddle. Some of the songs are also ones that his Nana will be more familiar with and broaden their music time together on the piano.
The “Happy, Sad and More Song” talks about different emotions and would be fun to sing along to, loudly, as well as the zany “Freak Out”.
And instread of the now-becoming-familiar version of “Free to be… You and Me” we have songs like “Shortnin’ Bread”, something I had never heard except that I Love Lucy episode where the gang makes a stop at Ethel’s hometown on their way to Hollywood.
The song, “Brand New Nose” was also appropriate for the last week since my son skipped the first round of preschool sickness but lovingly brought it home to me.
Note: This is not from their current album, but is a great song- “This Lasnd is Your Land is from
You can find Astrograss on Facebook.
I was given a copy of this CD to review. No other compentasion was given. All opinions are my own.