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Top 12 Songs for Summer!

by Amber on June 26, 2010

We’ve been collaborating with Hilltown Families lately to bring local music info over to the families in Western Mass. Hilltown Families covers lots of kids events over on the other side of the state, while Boston Children’s Music focuses mainly on the Boston area. As they say on their site, “Between the two we’re bridging the state to let families all throughout MA know about great concerts for families!”

On Sunday (June 27th), Hilltown Families will be airing a radio program featuring our favorite new songs from local artists (and one artist who maybe isn’t quite local, but plays in the area a lot). The show will air tomorrow morning from 7-8am on 103.3FM WXOJ. You can listen via streaming audio at The playlist and podcast are available on their site, too.

Here’s the playlist…

1. Two Mommies by Alastair Moock

Alastair released his first children’s album, A Cow Says Moock, last year and it’s amazing. He has a sort of folk/blues sound and covers some cool old songs, like Fishin’ Blues, as well as some fun originals, like Spaghetti in My Shoe. He does a lot of shows at Club Passim in Harvard Square and has more shows planned for the summer.

2. A Frog Named Sam by Ben Rudnick & Friends

BR&F released their newest CD, A Frog Named Sam, in 2009. This is their fifth CD and even though we love all of them, I would say this newest one is probably our favorite. BR&F have an American roots/bluegrass style that is just so family friendly and I love that they always include a nice instrumental or two on each album. They perform all over Mass and are Arlington favorites.

3. So, So Happy by Debbie & Friends

This song is off of D&F’s newest CD, More Story Songs & Sing Alongs, released earlier this year. D&F have a wonderful way of taking familiar stories and nursery rhymes and turning them into something new and exciting. Ivan has always loved their Three Pigs and a Wolf song, but I think So, So Happy is his new favorite. D&F also have a really cool animator who has been creating fun videos for their songs (you can see them here). D&F play all over Mass. Their shows are very interactive and perfect for young kids who have never been to a full band show before.

4. Shake! by the Flannery Brothers

The Flannery Brothers are from Maine and they are making quite a splash in the children’s music scene. Their newest album, Wake Up Songs, just came out this year and it is a short, six-song CD intended to help get your kids out of bed in the morning. We really do listen to this CD every morning! Their shows are super energetic and that energy is contagious. They’ve been playing more and more shows in Mass and they’re getting to be very popular. They’re working on a new CD set to release later this year.

5. Panther Stamps Pants by Gustafer Yellowgold

Gustafer Yellowgold is the creation of Morgan Taylor, a multi-talented artist who writes, sings, and animates all at once! Each Gustafer song is accompanied by an animated video and the live performances are really spectacular as the band plays in front of a large screen displaying the characters. The songs follow Gustafer and his friends on their adventures that vary from the absurd to the inspirational. Morgan’s music is mellow and light and accessible to both kids and adults. He and his band are from New York, but they have been coming up for regular shows at Club Passim in Harvard Square. The newest album, Mellow Fever, is a must hear and there’s rumor that we can expect a new Gustafer album by early 2011.

6. Owl Hootenany by Vanessa Trien

Vanessa Trien is as sweet in person as she is on her albums. She’s the real deal! Vanessa is talented and full of energy, which is really saying something when you consider she’s also a mom to two young children. Her newest CD, Carnival Day, just came out last year and it is a must have. Owl Hootenany is probably my favorite song on the CD. Vanessa performs all around Mass, but mostly in the Boston metro area. She plays both big theaters and little charity events. Don’t miss out on one of her shows!

7. Finger Puppets by Little Groove

Little Groove, headed by lead singer Sara Wheeler, is another regular around town. Little Groove has put on big shows at TCAN in Natick and the Coolidge in Brookline as well as lots of smaller library shows. Sara’s style is almost celtic and very melodic. The music is mostly acoustic and kids just love her ladybug costume! Their CD, Building Blocks, was released in 2008. We love to listen to it in the afternoons when Ivan needs to calm down after a long day at school.

8. Friends are on their Way by Joe’s Backyard Band

JBB is from Rhode Island and their music is just beautiful. They play in a kind of folk rock style with lots of instrumentation, from harmonica to saxophone and everything in between. They’re really quite a sight when seen live. Most of their songs are about enjoying life and friends and that’s an important message for anyone! Their album, Kick Up a Breeze, came out last year.

9. Yucky! by Judy Pancoast

Judy, a musician from New Hampshire, has a way of making everything silly. Her shows are so much fun for kids as she gets them to pretend they are swimming through jello or meeting aliens. Her newest CD, Weird Things are Everywhere!, came out last year and is a story told in both spoken word and song about a trip across the USA. As she travels across the country Judy talks about the books that have been written about each state. Judy is a big supporter of literacy programs and you can often find her performing at local libraries in Mass.

10. I Came Out Backwards by Leeny And Tamara

L&T are just fun. Most of their songs attempt to teach kids something valuable, but in an entertaining way, which is no easy feat! But L&T really do pull it off. Their shows are fun and super interactive—they encourage kids to come on stage and help them sing in the microphone. Their CD, Sharing the Same Stars, came out last year and has already won a Parent’s Choice Award. They’re from Gloucester and perform all over Mass.

11. Pajaro Carpintero (Woodpecker) by Mariana Iranzi

Mariana is originally from Argentina and sings all her songs in Spanish. She has a delightfully rich voice and many of her songs remind me of the bosanova style. Her songs are playful and skillfully arranged. It’s hard to believe that Aventura Collage is her first CD! She’s both a music teacher and performer in the greater Boston area and she performs regularly at the Children’s Museum.

12. Elephant Hide and Seek by SteveSongs

SteveSongs is such a staple of children’s music in New England and he’s become a big star now that he’s on PBS as Mr Steve! Marvelous Day is his fifth CD and the Elephant Song is just such a classic! Steve is one of those vocalists who is simply astounding and I love the silliness he injects in every song. Plus his back up singers, the Sensational Sillies, are phenomenal! And they’re little girls! Steve’s been doing fewer live shows lately and he also tours the country quite a bit, but you can still catch him back on his home turf now and then. But his shows almost always sell out, so get your tickets fast when he’s here!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mariana June 27, 2010 at 6:22 am

thanks Amber!

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