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Music Reviews and a Contest

Charlottesville resident Ellis Paul’s 14th album, the Dragonfly Races, was inspired by his two daughters.  When his second daughter was born, he took 6 weeks off his road schedule–the longest amount of time in his 15-year touring career.  Ellis spent late nights pacing the floor while singing Sofi to sleep.  Then, he decided to use his songwriting skills to create music and lyrics with messages he wanted to pass on to his daughters as they grow.

The songs are intended to be sweet and playful, yet insightful and thoughtful.  The lyrics include compelling and witty story telling–painting  a picture with themes about peace, unity, and awareness of the planet as a whole.

There are no cute-sy lyrics or annoying toy piano sounds on this children’s CD.  This is a whimsical musical adventure that will be equally cherished by little ears and those with more sophisticated tastes.  Ellis’ folksy vocals and tracks remind me of Geoff Moore and Peter, Paul, & Mary.  This critically acclaimed singer, songwriter, and poet is the recipient of thirteen Boston Music Awards.  Don’t miss out as he gracefully shifts his songwriting style to encompass music and lyrics intended for families.

For imaginative fun, check out the title track 5 – Dragonfly Races. For playground inspiration, enjoy track 10 – I Like to Swing. This 14 track CD also includes a 24-page lyric book with Ellis’ original artwork inspired by each song.  You can purchase Dragonfly Races on Ellis Paul’s website for $15. 

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Baby Loves Music presents Baby Loves Salsa upcoming release: Salsa for Kittens & Puppies is produced by Grammy-winning producer Aaron “Luis” Levinson who won the 2006 Best Salsa Recording for the Spanish Harlem Orchestra.  The band has already headlined Central Park’s Summer Stage, Miami’s Bicentennial Park, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park and will tour this fall.

Baby Loves Salsa features some of the biggest and brightest stars in contemporary salsa music including band leader and singer Jose Conde. The albums songs create a story of a group of kittens and puppies (gattitos y perritos) from the streets of New York City who go on to become the best salsa band in the land.

At first, I thought the album title sounded very corny.  What do kittens and puppies have to do with red hot salsa music?  But, I’ve been blown away by how fantastic this album truly is.  The first track, Somos la Banda, introduces each salsa instrument with a solo and its name en espanol while the kittens an puppies (children’s voices) shout out the names in English.  This is the recurrent theme throughout the album.  The concept sounds like the stacatto vocabulary lessons will disrupt the rhythm and flow of the songs, but quite the opposite.  The music enhances learning, but each song contributes to an overall storyline.  This album is more like a movie soundtrack than a language – multicutural teaching tool.  Think West Side Story, but with exceptionally good salsa musica!

Not only is the latin salsa rhythm entertaining for babies (Calvin always perks up when this album is playing), but you’ll find yourself shouting out the names of colors en espanol and shaking your hips to the beat.  The salsa rendition of Old MacDonald is truly a unique take on an old nursery rhyme favorite–especially fantastic are the abilities of the vocalists to portray animal sounds.

Baby Loves Salsa is expected to be released later this month.  In addition to the musica fantastico, there is a 20-page board book which helps children (ages 2-6) learn all about salsa and all about Spanish in a way that parents and kids can enjoy together.  You can pre-order your own copy of the CD package for $15.98.

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What do you get when you mix a guitarist and a bassist?  Trout Fishing in America, of course! Three-time Grammy nominated duo of Ezra Idlet and Keith Grimwood introduce Big Round World, their latest release featuring 14 new songs, many of which were inspired by kids’ songwriting workshops.  Their family music crosses the generations to appeal to all ages.  The musical style blends African pop, jazz, rock, and bluegrass to produce a truly eclectic album. 

The cool jazz licks of Too Good to Be True help you keep big fish stories in perspective.  I couldn’t help but chuckle at the lyrics to Always Chew Your Food and Curse of the Spinach.  But, my favorite track is hands down 9 – The Alarm Clock Rings. The agnsty rock hearkens back to the style of Green Day, but with lyrics that anyone with an alarm clock can relate to.

This is an album for families by a couple of adults who were inspired by kids.  Purchase your own copy of Big Round World.

**WIN IT**

Two winners will each win one own copy of Big Round World.

Only one entry per person per giveaway.  Multiple entries will be removed.  The contest for the Big Round World CD ends at 11:59 PM (EST) on Friday, October 24th. The winner will be announced on Saturday, October 25th.

The winners and 2 alternates will be selected on Random.org and announced on this post. If you provide your e-mail address, I will contact you. The winner has 72 hours to claim the prize, otherwise, the prize goes to the first alternate to contact me with a shipping address.

–This is an original Traveling with Baby post by Dr. Dolly Garnecki

**UPDATE**

Congratulations to the winners!

terrajones, on October 12th, 2008 at 10:13 am Said: I love this!!! We try to expose our children to different styles of music…much of the kids music is…well, “kidsy”…This sounds fabulous!!!!

Catherine copeland, on October 14th, 2008 at 7:17 pm Said: the big round world!!!!! i just love it. i would love to have it for my wee ones

73 Responses

  1. My sons would like this! Thanks for including me.

  2. Please include me in your contest.

  3. Looks like fun! Thanks for the chance, justicecw@hotmail.com

  4. what a weclome for traveling thanks

  5. enter me

  6. Sounds like a fun CD–thanks!

  7. I’m always looking for music that my little one will like so i hope I win!

  8. My son loves music, and I love introducing him to new songs and styles. These CD’s look excellent!

  9. count me in

  10. Please enter me. Thank you.

  11. Sweet niblets!

  12. Please enter me into the cool giveaway!!

  13. great contest – thanks

  14. Hope I win it’s my son’s birthday on the 27th of October and I cannot afford a gift so this would be ideal.

  15. Music makes the world Happy!

  16. PLEASE COUNT ME IN ON THIS AWESOME GIVEAWAY 🙂

  17. Hope to win this.

  18. My granddaughter would love this prize.

  19. Sounds awesome! Thanks for the contest!

  20. This would be great for the children as they love music

  21. It sounds good for the kids.

  22. Our Pumpkin Princess loves music and song…its in her genes and we hope she will also learn to play an instrument as she gets older like her daddy and her grandma.

  23. count me in

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