Category Archives: Sugar Mountain PR Reviews

Camp Songs with Ella Jenkins and Friends

Camp songs and the memories that come with them are the things that make this world go ’round. Ella Jenkins’ CD, released today, comes at the perfect time when kids are off at camp and counselors are working hard to keep those kids happy.

camp songs

This CD, which includes a book of lyrics, will do the trick. It’s got wonderful standards like Kumbaya, This Land is Your Land, Row, Row, Row Your Boat, and This Little Light of Mine. The rest of the songs and sweet little reflections of camp memories from Ella make this collection a must have. And we know she’s got some good stories. After all, she turns 93 in August!

We were happy to donate this CD to St. Francis in the Field‘s “Happy Campers” camp for  ages 3-6 this week. I hope the music helped them imagine and explore the beautiful outdoors!

camp songs

Thank you to Sugar Mountain PR for our complimentary copy in exchange for this review.

Starting today, June 23, the entire album will be available for sale via the Folkways site, Amazon, and iTunes.
Here is more from Sugar Mountain PR:
“Smithsonian Folkways Recordings Releases
‘Camp Songs with Ella Jenkins and Friends’ on June 23

Washington, DC – Ella Jenkins, The First Lady of Children’s Music, celebrates 60 years as a Smithsonian Folkways artist with the release of Camp Songs with Ella Jenkins and Friends,” out June 23. Jenkins has wanted to record camp songs for more than 15 years and assembled a group of children, parents, and teachers from the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, along with Tony and Kate Seeger from Camp Killooleet, to sing these rounds, nonsense songs and campfire sing-alongs. The 25-track collection includes familiar camp songs “Michael Row the Boat Ashore,” “Kumbaya” and “This Land Is Your Land.”  

Many of the tunes on “Camp Songs with Ella Jenkins and Friends” have been sung by generations of campers, including many of the 14 million children and adults who attend camp every year in the United States. The album has its roots in the songs Jenkins’ brother brought home with him from Boy Scout camp when she was a child, and begins with a chorus of children singing the familiar round “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” But these selections come from a variety of traditions, among them African-American spirituals, European folk songs, and Jewish summer camps where Jenkins has performed. “Everybody Loves Saturday Night” has lines in a dozen languages, including Mandarin, Hindi, Serbian and Nigerian. The album’s final five numbers, which include “Sloop John B.” and “Goodnight Irene,” are sequenced to resemble a campfire sing-along.

“Camp Songs with Ella Jenkins and Friends” was produced by Tony Seeger, nephew of folk-music icon Pete Seeger. Tony Seeger also wrote the included liner notes and lyric annotations for all the songs in the 36-page booklet that accompanies the album. Throughout the album, Jenkins sings and plays harmonica, often offering reminiscences and spoken-word introductions to the songs.

Though Jenkins takes the lead on “Sipping Cider Through a Straw,” she is almost everywhere on this recording — singing, harmonica playing, teaching, reflecting about camp, engaging with children and their parents, and of course in the selection of the songs. Jenkins is joined in her performances by 13 children and a group of adults that includes Erin Flynn; Bucky Halker; Judy, Kate, and Tony Seeger; Barbara Silverman; and Chris Walz. At its core, this is a collection of music by and with children.

Jenkins, who turns 93 in August, has devoted her life to instilling a love of music in children. She released her first album for Folkways in 1957, and her 1966 album “You’ll Sing a Song and I’ll Sing a Song” remains one of the best-selling titles in the history of Smithsonian Folkways. She received a Lifetime Achievement GRAMMY Award from The Recording Academy in 2004.  The Old Town School of Folk Music is organizing a tribute concert at the Square Roots Festival in Chicago on July 8. For more information about Ella Jenkins, visit www.ellajenkins.com.”

jump and jam

Jump and Jam with Dana!

This Friday, April 14th, you and your little ones can jump and jam with Dana! Dana’s Best Jump & Jam Tunes will be available from Music Playground, as well as a series of music videos and a concert in Bellingham, WA. This collection is perfect for the family living room dance parties, pre-school circle time, and just jammin’ in the car on summer vacation. Thank you to Sugar Mountain PR for our complimentary copy in exchange for this review.

jump and jam

 

More from Sugar Mountain PR:

“Blaine, WA,  March 15, 2017 – Dana, a singer, songwriter and educator whose music has earned 17 national awards and acclaim from critics and families alike, leaps back into the scene with a brand-new collection of action songs for kids:Dana’s Best Jump & Jam Tunes. The album will be available from Music Playground, Amazon  and iTunes on April 15. Dana will celebrate the release with a series of music videos and a “Movin’ Musical Party” at the historic Mount Baker Theatre in Bellingham, WA, also on Saturday, April 15.

 

Through her five critically lauded albums and national tours, Dana has built a reputation for inviting youngsters to get off their screens and up dancing, jumping, playing and singing. Dana’s Best Jump & Jam Tunes is her sixth highly interactive album release featuring 12 songs designed to get kids ages 1 to 7 up and moving, grooving and laughing. Wordplay, catchy melodies, and top-notch musicianship make this an engaging album for the whole family to enjoy together.

 

Produced at Beaird Music Group Studios in Nashville with top session players,Dana’s Best Jump & Jam Tunes offers a “musical party” of sound, featuring various genres, from rock to bluegrass, jazz, country and pop. Inspired by her 20-plus years of working with children and her own experiences as a mom, Dana Cohenour wrote these songs with preschoolers in mind while respecting adult ears in production and musical styles.

 

The album includes counting songs ( “Legs” and a bluegrass spin of “Five Green and Speckled Frogs”), a Latin music inspired freeze dance (“Jumping Beans”), a rock & roll “Wiggle Workout,” an egg shake (“Shakin’ Things Up”), and a jazzy jumping jive dance (“Jump & Jive”). Humor is the hallmark of Dana’s story songs (“Barnyard Hoedown” and “Fish Tale”), and she asks listeners to help make the planet smile with her inspirational “Do My Part.” Listeners are invited to clang on pots and pans with “Grandma’s Kitchen Band,” and to move like the animals in “Follow the Leader.” The album wind downs with the gentle musical hug that is “I Love Mommy.” 

 

After taking a break from recording to raise her son, Jack, Dana is pleased to be creating music for children once again. Dana tested these songs at her Music Playground classes at the Opus Performing Arts School in Bellingham, WA. From square-dancing barnyard animals to Mexican jumping beans, Dana’s tunes instantly activate her young students toward movement and imaginative play.”

zoo

Minnesota Zoo Counts on the Okee Dokee Brothers

The Minnesota Zoo made a great choice when they partnered with the Okee Dokee Brothers on a song to bring awareness to wildlife conservation. “Countin’ on Me” comes out tomorrow and highlights three of earth’s beautiful creatures: bison, butterflies, and trumpeter swans. The song sends a gentle, yet important message of environmental friendliness and conservation. It tells us repeatedly to “build this home again” and share the responsibility of respecting these animals just as we respect human life. Share this song with your little ones, as they can learn to accept this responsibility at a young age.

Thank you to Sugar Mountain PR for our sneak preview of this beautiful tune and thank you to the Okee Dokee Brothers and the Minnesota Zoo for your important collaboration.

zoo

zoo
Trumpeter swan, North America’s largest waterfowl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

zoo

Here’s more from Sugar Mountain PR:

“Minneapolis, March 10, 2017 – The Minnesota Zoo and the Okee Dokee Brothers are proud to announce the release of a new single celebrating the Minnesota Zoo’s mission to save wildlife. The Minnesota Zoo commissioned “Countin’ on Me” from the Grammy Award-winning duo to serve as its conservation theme song. The lyrics poetically communicate our shared responsibility to help save wildlife, and reference three species native to Minnesota that the Minnesota Zoo has restored or is working to restore in the wild – bison, butterflies and trumpeter swans.

The commission developed from a collaboration between the Minnesota Zoo and the Okee Dokee Brothers, who share a passion for nature and a mission to encourage kids and families to explore the natural world. These common values are at the heart of their collaboration, which began in July 2015 with the opening of a nature play area and continued with several special appearances at the Minnesota Zoo by bandleaders Justin Lansing and Joe Mailander.

The single, “Countin’ on Me,” will be available for purchase on iTunes beginning March 16. All proceeds from the purchase of the single will support the Minnesota Zoo and its wildlife conservation efforts.

Justin and Joe will debut the single live at the Zoo during a special animal encounter on Saturday, March 18. Their appearance is free with Zoo admission, but due to space limitations, RSVPs are required. Learn more at www.mnzoo.org/okeedokeebrothers.

The Minnesota Zoo is a year-round destination located in Apple Valley, just minutes south of Mall of America. The Zoo’s mission is to connect people, animals and the natural world to save wildlife. For more information, call 952.431.9500 or visit mnzoo.org. The Minnesota Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and an institutional member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). 

As kids in Colorado, Justin and Joe grew up together exploring nearby creeks, trails, woods and rivers. Twenty years later as the Okee Dokee Brothers, they are still roaming the outdoors together, but with a mission and a couple of guitars in their packs. Now based in Minneapolis, the Grammy Award-winning folk singer-songwriters are advocates for adventure.”

The song debuts on March 16. Here are the pre-order links:

Purchase link

http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1212327648?ls=1&app=itunes

Stream Link

http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1212327648

The Minnesota Zoo made a great choice when they partnered with the Okee Dokee Brothers on a song to bring awareness to wildlife conservation.

deep woods

Deep Woods Music from Red Yarn

deep woodsWhat could be sweeter than a daddy singing ‘Little Baby Born Today’ about his own child? Portland’s Andy Furgeson does this in his new collection, Born in the Deep Woods. He describes how the ‘birds all hushed’ and the ‘mama jay spread the word through the woods today’.
Then the tempo picks up in Mockingbird when big brother joins in on a few of the lyrics with his sweet, yet excited voice. The young tyke expertly repeats his daddy’s lyrics like, “Baby, howdy-do!”
This is a family affair designed to invite all other young families to join in song, dance, and lots of fun!
Born in the Deep Woods is available now and you can win it by entering my giveaway!
Thank you to Sugar Mountain PR for our complimentary copies in exchange for this review and giveaway. We love sharing music with our friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 deep woods
Here’s more from Sugar Mountain PR:

“Portland, February 28, 2017 ~ Red Yarn, Portland’s acclaimed family folksinger and puppeteer, releases a new album called Born in the Deep Woods on March 10. The album completes his Deep Woods trilogy, an epic song cycle exploring the roots and branches of American folk music. With his full band and puppet troupe, Red Yarn will celebrate the release with shows around the Pacific Northwest this spring, at SXSW in March, and on an east coast tour this summer.

Seven years ago, Texas-born artist and educator Andy Furgeson began a deep exploration of American folk music, adapting dozens of songs and posting rough recordings under the name Red Yarn. He dreamed up a forest called the Deep Woods to contain the strange animal tales he found. He created a cast of “critter” puppets to bring the characters to life. His homespun aesthetic caught on in Portland, where he built a successful career performing these songs and stories for thousands of families. Three award-winning albums and many music videos later, Red Yarn culminates his Deep Woods project with Born in the Deep Woods, his boldest musical statement yet.

Recorded at Portland’s Type Foundry Studio with celebrated producer Adam Selzer, Born in the Deep Woods explores the genres that grew out of American folk music. From bluegrass to heartland rock, the album traces the evolution of our national musical vernacular.

At the heart of the album are Furgeson’s harmonies with his wife Jessie Eller-Isaacs. Recorded while she was expecting their second child, many songs channel the joys and fears of bringing new life into the world.”

Learn more about Born in the Deep Woods and Red Yarn at www.redyarnproductions.com, and at this link.

See Red Yarn, Ms. Jessie, their full band and critter pals LIVE:

SXSW Week: March 14 – 18 – various performances (with LiveMom, Do512, Children’s Cancer Association, and Spare the Rock Radio) in Austin, TX 

Saturday,  April 22 – The Fambly Ramble returns with special guest two-time Grammy Award nominee Justin Roberts, at Mission Theater and Pub, Portland, OR

sweet

Sweet Sounds with Little Miss Ann

Sweet as sweet can be! This collection called Keep On, by Little Miss Ann, is just downright adorable! We feel like we’re sitting right there with Ann and Amy D. in a circle with instruments and snapping fingers, just like in music class! Their voices are friendly, loving, and happy, creating a beautiful experience for children and their families. We especially love Where is Thumbkin? and it’s unique arrangement of verses and bridges. But the one that caught my heart for sure is L.O.V.E., a catchy, harmonious tune that reminds us of all the wonderful ways we can love each other! Certainly an excellent reminder, no matter who you are.

And you know what else? They’re from Chicago so they’ve got to be good people!

sweet

Keep On is available TODAY on Amazon and iTunes. Thank you to Sugar Mountain PR for our complimentary copy in exchange for this review.

sweet

More from Sugar Mountain PR:

“Chicago, February 1 ~ Little Miss Ann has enjoyed national acclaim and a fervent following for her upbeat, down-to-earth and interactive folksy music. Her fifth album of hopeful and happy songs, Keep On, is the result of a collaboration with children’s music newcomer Amy D. Keep On will be available from various music retailers and from littlemissann.com on February 17.

Recorded in the Hudson Valley of New York with Grammy-winning producer Dean Jones, Keep On ranges in musical styles. Grownups will appreciate the 50’s doo-wop sounding song, “L.O.V.E.,” the Andrew Bird-meets-Liz Phair ode to Chicago “The 606,” as well as re-imagined traditional favorites like the Johnny Cash-esque “Where Is Thumbkin?” and a spirited Calypso song that originated in Jamaica called “Hill and Gully Rider.” There’s even a springy-swingy rendition of “Tiptoe Through the Tulips,” blending sweet harmonies, mandolin, and a toy piano. As Jones says, “These two complement each other perfectly. If it sounds like we were having fun it’s because we were. These songs come straight from the heart!”

Guest artists include Latin Grammy winner 123 Andrés and Tim Sutton from Ratboy Jr.

New to the independent family music scene and originally hailing from Nashville, Amy D sings and plays violin, mandolin, melodica, and piano. After meeting at a kids’ music class in Chicago, Ann and Amy discovered that they had many things in common, musically and culturally.  Amy D joined Little Miss Ann’s band in 2015, and the musical connection led to the process of writing and recording the songs of Keep On. Ann and Amy provide a fresh take on the tradition of sing-along, call-and-response style of trailblazers like Chicago-based Ella Jenkins, Raffi, Elizabeth Mitchell, and other enduring artists of the genre. 

Indeed, the songs grew out of both artists’ experiences in working with families: Ann in education (including Chicago’s historic Old Town School of Folk Music) and Amy in social work. Their common Filipino backgrounds inspired two of their original songs: “Ube,” about a cherished Filipino staple, the purple yam, and “The Senses Song,” which mentions halo-halo and lychee, sweet treats from Filipino cuisine. Other songs on the album, like “The 606,” are firmly rooted in Chicago’s vibrant scene.

See the Little Miss Ann Band, featuring Amy D,
in concert on February 26 at the Beat Kitchen in Chicago!

Little Miss Ann will also perform a show with Suzi Shelton at Jalopy in Brooklyn, NY, on March 26.”