FolkWorld Issue 42 07/2010; Children Music Reviews by Michael Moll (with the help of Yasmine, 2 years old)

Folk for Children
Stories, Songs & Lullabies

We stay this time in the English spoken world, covering sheet music, lullabies and fairytales...

Little Voices Folk Songs

"Little Voices Folk Songs" is a little book with sheet music for piano and lyrics for five traditonal songs from the British Isles: A-Roving, Bonny Mary of Argyle, Early one Morning, The Minstrel Boy and Salley Gardens. The music is easy to play on the piano, but may sound a bit basic if played without singing, yet is highly suitable as accompaniment to singing. The book includes a short CD containing complete vocal and piano versions of the songs sung beautifully by Sarah Eyden, as well as tracks of piano-only versions of the songs, perfect as a reference for those children (or adults) learning to play the songs. This book is from a larger series of "Little Voices" music books - it appears that the only other folk related book is "Ballads".

Jennings & Ponder, The King and the Thrush

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Moving on to something a bit different - storytelling. And with Tim Jennings and Leanne Ponder we have a real master story telling duo, and their latest album "The King and the Thrush - Tales of Goodness and Greed" does not disappoint. The duo from Vermont, New England masters the storytelling in a unique, very entertaining and engaging way. Their working together is extremely well oiled; the storytelling appears spontaneous and innovative - sometimes both talking some words simultaneously to emphasise, doing different voices and sound effects, and presenting the stories full of emotion and ideas. The stories they tell are traditional tales as humans have told their children for generations, and before that they may have been told also between adults as a main source of entertainment. The four stories on this album stem originally from Denmark,

Margie Butler, Celtic Lullabies
the Ukraine and India; they are unusual enough for me not having heard them before. Between each story, there are very short (less than a minute) little tunes which are as timeless as the stories. The album has been recorded live, in the true tradition of storytelling. Lovely.

After storytime now finally some more lullabies, but unfortunately this album, Margie Butler's "Celtic Lullabies", does not hit it off with me. Even though I could have liked this - the instrumentation is pleasant featuring harp, guitar, accordion, violin etc, and Margie also has an overall pleasant enough voice - but why o why did they have to put an echo effect over the voice? It gives the whole album an esoteric feel, and some songs sound by this treatment simply awful to me. Margie Butler is the harpist and singer of the band Golden Bough. The songs on this album are traditional and come from Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

So much for now - more next time!


Children (#41)
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© The Mollis - Editors of FolkWorld; Published 07/2010

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