Can You Feel It? Performed by Jessa Campbell & the Saplings. CD. Approx. 30 min. Produced by Dave Smith. 2019. Digital: $9.49.
Portland-based Jessa Campbell & the Saplings perform 10 lively, original songs about nature in pop, bluegrass, folk, and waltz musical styles. The Saplings--Dave Smith, Amy Hakansson, Darcy Wallace, Jay Jay Harris, and Paul Brainard--join in with great performances on guitar, banjo, bass, keyboards, and drums. Jessa’s vocals are clear and strong, easily handling the different musical styles. “Can You Feel It?” details the life cycle of a salmon from hatching to returning to the home pond to breed. In “Mole in the Ground” the narrator wishes she were a mole, lizard, turtle, and other creatures for various reasons. “Waltz of Trillium and Ant” tells how ants spread seeds from trillium plants. The “T-Rex in the Forest” lived there a long time ago. “How I Love You Sun” shares facts about our star, such as it takes 8 minutes for Sun’s light to reach Earth. “Shadow Doo-Dah,” to the tune of “Camptown Ladies,” describes the changing lengths of shadows during the day. “The Great Happening” wants listeners to connect with nature by playing outside in the trees, etc. Spirals in shells and other patterns are called c “Fractals” in nature. “Water Worth” explains the water cycle—evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and percolation. “Goodnight Pacific Northwest” says goodnight to the diurnal animals and hello to the nocturnal animals. This terrific album will teach young listeners more about nature and science.