ANDY COHEN with MOIRA MELTZER-COHEN "SMALL BUT MIGHTY: SONGS FOR GROWING PEOPLE" (EARWIG, 2020)
»My daughter Moira, who sings on it, came up with the title and subtitle — ‘Songs for Growing People’ — for this CD. I think they capture the intent of the project, which is to talk substantively to kids without talking down to them. Now that Moira is grown, she sees the old music as I do, as a thing in itself, and coincidentally, the underlayment to most of what’s available today, of value for its own sake as well as for the history it contains. Some of the sillier songs on the CD are ones that I wrote, but all the ‘covers’ are ones I do when I’m playing for kids. Trust me, they get them. My humble opinion is that children gravitate to Old Time Music like it was made up with them in mind.«
ANDY COHEN "TRYIN’ TO GET HOME" (EARWIG, 2020)
»Tryin’ To Get Home has been assembling itself in my head for several years. It shares a couple of songs with Small But Mighty, and that’s on purpose, but it’s a record for grownups (who should also be growing people). All these songs have meaning to me because they speak to what matters, righteous things big and small. I’m happy about how the PreWar songs came out, and happy also that the ones I made up seem to fit with the older ones. A few songs by other folks, ones I thought were appropriate for the project, round it out. Mostly, I want to present material that I believe in, as clearly and intelligibly as I can.«
ANDY COHEN IS A VIRTUOSO FINGER-STYLE GUITARIST, who has been described as “a walking, talking folk-blues-roots music encyclopedia.” He has devoted his life to studying, performing, and promoting traditional blues and folk music of the pre-World War II era. At an Andy Cohen concert, expect to hear blues rooted in Mississippi, the Piedmont, Memphis, and Chicago, as well as some ragtime, gospel, and original tunes.
SARA WATKINS "UNDER THE PEPPER TREE" (CD, NEW WEST RECORDS, 2021).
»I’ve never made a record like this before - a record for children. The concept began in the beginning of the pandemic as we embraced what felt like endless days with our own children and families while sheltering in place. I began a search for songs that ease the shift from day to evening, from the real to the imagined. Many of these songs have been with me since childhood, and returning to them as a parent has reminded me of the magic that happens when we listen with our imaginations. I hope this record fills homes with delight and calm and helps in the transition from day to night, din to dreams and chaos to rest.«
SARA WATKINS' FORTHCOMING RELEASE, UNDER THE PEPPER TREE, is an album of family-suited classic material that runs the gamut from the Disney catalog to vintage cowboy songs to Rodgers & Hammerstein and Nilsson. The album reunites her Nickel Creek and I'm With Her bandmates & features guest appearances by Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes, David Garza, and Watkins' three-year-old daughter.
Photo Credits: (1) Andy Cohen, (2) Sara Watkins (unknown/from website).