Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Maria and Friends - Planting Seeds

Maria and Friends - Planting Seeds

Spring 2011 Music
Ages: All Ages
CD Price: $15.00
Review:

Planting Seeds is singer/songwriter Maria Sangiolo's fourth album for children and features her friends, which include many leading lights of the New England folk music scene. The new CD focuses on the themes of locally based agriculture and sustainability, and does so with a sense of style, grace and fun rarely found in children's or adult music. Nu-Grass band Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem [sic] back Sangiolo on the jazzy opening "Dancin' the Breeze," which celebrates all the fruits (and vegetables) found in the garden on a summer day. "Brown Spaghetti" tells of all the great whole grain and organic vegetables that are alternatives to the usual supermarket faire, while "Garden Slug" is a slinky, slide driven protest to a garden's most common pest. "Eggs, Milk and Butter" act as a gypsy jazz tribute to all things dairy. Massachusetts singer/songwriter Lui Collins wrote and duets with Sangiolo on the delicious "Farmers Market A to Z," while daisy mayhem sheepishly returns for an atrociously funny, reverse anthropomorphizing of the famous Richie Valens song "Baa Baa Bamba." Children's music performer SteveSongs duets with Sangiolo on an amazing game and motion song "Plant a Seed." Boston area folk singers Alastair Moock and Lori McKenna extol the virtues of the backyard garden ("Didn't Know What I Was Missing"), while Milwaukee based folker Peter Mullvey sings of the dubious fate of "Bill Grogan's Goat." Other highlights include Tracy Grammer, Jim Henry and his kids Jackson and Ruby singing about all the different kinds of wood used for fuel, and Sally Rogers & Howie Bursen praising New England's most famous export in "Maple Sweet." The always-excellent Mark Erelli tells the tale of "The Fox," and acoustic guitar master Brooks Williams backs Sangiolo on Lui Collins' singularly beautiful "Bee Song."

The album is a true collaboration between the gorgeous singing and songwriting of Sangiolo and that of her many friends. The result is the feeling of a beautiful community coming together to celebrate all the bounty nature provides. The caliber of the writing, singing and playing is so high that most people hearing any of these songs on the radio would not immediately assume this is a CD for kids. Maria Sangiolo has contributed an excellently conceived and executed album for young and old. As an added bonus, a portion of all the proceeds from the recording will benefit NOFA, the Northeast Organic Farming Association.

Lahri Bond   ©2011 Parents' Choice
Lahri Bond is a father, a writer, music historian and an art professor in Western Massachusetts. His published books include Spinning Tales Weaving Hope (with the Stories For World Change Network) for New Society Press and People of the Earth (coauthored with Ellen Evert Hopman) for Destiny Books.

Look for this product at:
Raging River Records/ Long Night Moon Music
http://www.mariasangiolo.com
Online Retailers

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