Saturday, July 25, 2020

Choo Choo Trains, Propeller Planes & Toot Toot Chugga Chugga Big Red Car

Choo Choo Trains, Propeller Planes & Toot Toot Chugga Chugga Big Red Car! Performed by The Wiggles. CD. Approx. 49 min. The Wiggles Pty Ltd. 2020. CD: $14.99.

For almost 30 years, this multi-award winning group from Australia has been entertaining and teaching preschool children with their age-appropriate songs. The current group is comprised of Anthony Field, Lachlan (Lachy) Gillespie, Simon Pryce, and Emma Watkins, performing 23 songs in a variety of rock and pop musical styles. The band pours on the Aussie accent for “Old Man Emu” (he can’t fly, but he can run the pants off a kangaroo). And conscious of current events, they urge listeners to engage in “Social Distancing,” suggesting that listeners stay home and use video calls to visit Nana. “The Handwashing Song” teaches listeners when, how often, and how to kill germs on their hands. In “Wiggle at Home” listeners are encouraged to find pots and pans and form their own band. “Beatrice Bee” celebrates honeybees and worker bees. In more operatic voices, they cover Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Sun, Whose Rays are All Ablaze” (from The Mikado). “How Good Is That” includes a short instrumental chorus from the Irish song “I’ll Tell Me Ma.” The rest of the songs showcase various types of transportation, including walking, space travel, swimming, surfing, trains, planes, automobiles, and even wheelchairs: “Trains, Planes and the Big Red Car,” “Trains Rolling Down the Track,” “Toot Toot, Chugga Chugga, Big Red Car,” “Moose in the Caboose,” “Paddlin’ Australia,” “Big, Big Heart,” “Rocket Ship,” “Watching the Planes,” “Emma’s Bowmobile, Beep Beep,” “Are We There Yet,” “Zoo Be Doo Dee,” “Walk,” “Do the Propeller,” “We Fly the Plane to the Outback,” “Wheels on the Wheelchair Go Round and Round,” and “Roll the Acrobats.” There is plenty in this ambitious album for old and new fans alike to love.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Songs Across the Pond

Songs Across the Pond. Performed by Brady Rymer and David Gibb. CD. Approx. 41 min. Little Seeds Music and Bumblin’ Bee Records. 2020. Digital: $9.49.
Ages K and up

Multi-award winning Brady Rymer joins his Brit buddy David Gibb to perform on this delightful, musically retro album of 12 songs. Taking a time machine back to the 60s, 70s and 80s, the duo pay homage to the Beatles, the Stones, David Bowie and Madness in these rock, pop, and soul songs. The duo and their instrumental mates give masterful performances on guitar, violin, keys, banjo, flute, bass, harmonica, drums, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and accordion; while the vocals soar with fantastic harmonies. Along with the original songs, they perform a rousing rendition of Sam Cooke’s “Twisting the Night Away,” and a lively arrangement of Cat Stevens’ “If You Want to Sing Out.” Drifting on over the waves “Across the Pond” there’s a friend you’ve not made yet. Brady and David compare their “Two Towns,” one on the beach and the other surrounded by country. When it is not easy to talk to someone you don’t know, smile and say, “Hey There,” and ask how they’re doing today. Brady and David celebrate Eleanor Rigby, Lovely Rita, Penny Lane, Lucy and much more in “Living in a Beatles Song.” The sky is blue, the grass is green, and I was born with a “Summertime Soul.” Blowing through just like the wind, “Traveling David,” greets every morning with a brand new song. More and more “Roundabouts”  are popping up in my city. Comparing US and UK vocabulary is fun in “You Say This, I Say That” from trunk/boot to sneakers/trainers. Take my hand across the floor and “Get Up with Me and Dance.” Curled up in the car on the back seat, I’m “Happy to Be Going Home.” This wonderful album will not only appeal to children, but those who grew up in the 60s and 70s will also love it. A slam-dunk.
Websites: and

Saturday, July 11, 2020


Avocado. Performed by Rolie Polie Guacamole. CD. Approx. 47 min. RPG Records. Year. 2020. CD and Digital: $15.00.
Ages 2—8

Award-winning Frank Gallo and Andrew Tuzhilin, the duo that makes up Rolie Polie Guacamole, perform 13 funny and silly songs in high energy rock, funk, rap, and folk musical styles. Several of the songs are rich with electronic sounds. The duo and their musician friends, including Dean Jones, create great background music on guitar, synthesizer, bass, and drums. Enthusiastic children join in on several songs. The title song, “Avocado,” repeats the word over and over. Celebrating all things baseball, “Ay Batta Batta” includes game announcers. “Basketball Jane” proves herself Queen of Basketball after she wins a competition with Nasty J. I wanna ride on a “Firetruck” and work in a fire station. “Dancing on the Sun” is a participatory movement song, as listeners are encouraged to dance slowly on the moon, rapidly on the sun, and “shiveringly” on Pluto. Arriving back on Earth, they sing along with “A Very Quiet Song,” a lovely lullaby. “Aguacate,” the Spanish word for avocado, has the same tune as the title song, and with the word sung repeatedly. In a cumulative tune, listeners are asked if one puts “Pizza Pie” in one’s eye, nose, ear, etc. “iScream” is based on the old chant: I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. When an iceberg in Patagonia splits down the middle, “Persevering Penguins and Pals” are separated from one another. While searching for her own talent, “Sammie the Cat” discovers she can write songs, in this spoken and sung story. The duo performs a rousing rendition of “Jingle Bells” in a polka style arrangement. A brief outro of “Avocado” closes the album. These lively and humorous songs will have listeners singing and dancing along with the music.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Giggle and Burp Ballet

Giggle and Burp Ballet. Performed by Randy & Dave. CD. Approx. 34 min. Song Wizard Records. 2020. Price: CD: $14.98.
K—Gr 3

Randy Sharp and Dave Kinnoin perform these 12 original songs in rock, country, ragtime, vaudeville, Latin, and pop musical styles. Randy and Dave play most of the instruments, with a few guest musicians, including guitar, keyboards, bass, piano, unspecified strings, ukulele, Dobro Mandolin, banjo, saxophone, harmonica, and drums. Their vocals are smooth and mellow and adapt easily to the various song lyrics. A couple of children and their dog take a ride in the broken-down “Red Jalopy,” which is parked in a shed. Although nothing is working out like the narrator wishes, “Other Than That,” everything’s all good. “Cranky Children” should get everything they want, because when they grow up, they’ll have time to moan over their own cranky children. A child’s dog begs for him to “Scratch” the itch he can’t reach. A fly crawling on the “Screen Door” is desperately in love with the fly on the other side of the screen. “What Kind of Animal” is jumping on the bed, stealing bananas, and laughing hysterically? An unwise mother, who purchased soda pop (and allowed the student actors to drink it) right before the school show, is responsible for the “Giggle and Burp Ballet.” Poochie accomplishes all kinds of amazing feats “For a Biscuit.” A group of dirty “Grunge Babies” get together in the basement for a jam session with their guitars. Beginning “I have some Gubble Bum in py mocket,” this song has fun with spoonerisms. Although the chef offers amazing food, Cynthia only says, “Quiero Queso.” One child wants to be “Nobody,” because Nobody is the only one who can do what people say is impossible. This fun and laugh-out-loud production is sure to please young listeners.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

I Am Kind

I Am Kind. Performed by Lindsay Munroe. Approx. 31 min. Troubadour Music. 2020. CD: $10.98; Digital: $9.49.
Pre-School – Gr 3

After they met at one of his concerts, Raffi encouraged Lindsay to record this album, and he joins in on several songs, playing instruments and beautifully harmonizing. Lindsay performs 16 original and traditional songs in folk musical style. Lindsay’s vocals are lovely, and even more so when harmonizing with Raffi. Lindsay’s three autistic children also join in on several songs. Backup instruments include guitar, ukulele, mandolin, fiddle, bass, piano, electric piano, glockenspiel, accordion, bongos, cajon, and train whistle. The traditional songs are “Little Red Caboose,” “The More We Get Together,” “This Little Light,” “De Colores,” “Peace Like a River,” “Frere Jacques,” and “Bluebird Bluebird.” 
“I Am Kind,” brave, love, wise, and strong. “I Can Try New Things,” I might even like it. The sound of birds singing, green grass, and reading a book are all “Something Good.” When I have to wait my turn or wait in line, I can “Wait Nicely,” with a quiet and calm body. When I get fidgety, I can “Ask for Help,” and ask for a break. It is “OK to Make Mistakes,” don’t give up, try again. “Every One of Us Belongs,” and together our voices make a beautiful song. “Problem Solvers” realize that every problem has a solution. Now when it’s time to rest, “I Can Dream.” This is a lovely, calm album that both children and adults will appreciate.

Monday, June 15, 2020


Hi-YA! Performed by Go Banana Go. Approx. 23 min. Go Banana Go. 2020.
K – Gr 5

Go Banana Go is Jim Roach, Emmy Award winning songwriter and producer, and Brian Wecht, a former theoretical physics professor. In this debut album, they perform 13 outrageously funny and silly songs in rock, pop, polka rap, ska, and country. The band’s own children sing backup on several tunes.
With the same words repeating loudly, then softly, “Go Banana Go” is heavy on the drumbeat, causing listener’s feet to tap non-stop. When one has dough, sauce, and cheese on one’s feet, they are aptly named “Pizza Feet.” Comedian Flula Borg gives “German Lessons,” incorrectly translating the German words he speaks into silly English sentences. Before one goes to bed or school, he must “Brush and Brush and Brush,” so the dentist will cry tears of joy. In “Music to Put Your Shoes On To,” a child races to put on his shoes before the song ends, with two sports announcers reporting on his progress. Every baby has “Stinky Diapers.” If one gives a “Dinosaur Tickles,” it might wet its pants. “I Love Cookies” including chocolate chip, peanut butter, sugar, macaroon, gingerbread, round, and square. The “Super Cow” moos super loud and wears a super brown cape. The “Lovely Little Letters” stand for such words as amazing, beautiful, charming, delightful, excellent, fantastic, etc. “Mark and Mark,” a unicorn and cupcake with the same name, are best friends; they go to park, meet Spark the Shark and several more rhyming words. The “Dinosaur Chicken Nugget” tries to run away but has no legs. “The Queen of No Share,” who speaks with an exaggerated English accent, lives in a castle, and never shares any of her many of toys, but when she realizes that no one wants to play with her, she learns to share. This is a great album to share with children, especially those who may be bored from having to shelter inside.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Never Mind the Blocks, Here's Jumpin' Jamie

Never Mind the Blocks, Here’s Jumpin’ Jamie. Performed by Jumpin’ Jamie. Approx. 35 min. 2020. Digital: $12.00.
Grades 3 – 5

In his second album, Jamie performs 12 original songs, most in high energy rock, with some folk, folk rock and bluegrass for variety. But the catchy tunes and foot-stomping rhythms will appeal to adults as much as to young listeners. Jamie is joined by musical guests Rick McMurray (Ash), Tina Kenny Jones (Red Pants Band), and Chris Palmieri (Universal Kids’ Snug’s House). “Greta Says” stop stealing our future as Jamie salutes teen environmental activist Greta Thunberg. “I Don’t Wanna Dance (Just Like Everyone),” I dance how I please. “Stand Up” for freedom, for love, and for animals. Jamie also salutes suffragist “Susan B. Anthony.” I’m “Grateful” for everything you do. Teacher, father, mother, and grandpa won’t answer my questions because “Adults Don’t Always Know” what they are talking about. When new girl “Lonely Lisa” comes to school, one student is encouraged to say hello to her. “Honesty’s the Policy” because cheaters never win. In “Same as You and Me” Jamie tries to convince listeners that cow’s milk is for baby cows, not humans. “Wolves” get a bad rap in fairy tales such as Little Red Riding Hood. The final two songs are “Whistleblower” and “Great to Know You.” Not everyone will agree with Greta Thunberg’s extremist views or with tossing out all their dairy products, but these tunes are appealing and easy on the ears.