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

Wake Up & Sing

Wake Up & Sing

Fall 2016 Music
Ages: 2 - 8 yrs.
CD Price: $12.99

Red Yarn is the moniker for Portland, Oregon based family folk songwriter and puppeteer Andy Furgeson. Wake Up and Sing, Furgeson's third album, is enhanced by the studio magic of renowned family music producer Dean Jones. The CD is an homage to the American folk canon, championed by Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, and Bob Dylan who have strongly influenced Furgeson's songwriting.

The sleepy opening song "Beautiful Day" wears these influences well, while his cover of the Guthrie penned "Wake Up," adds some nice Wilco-style electric instrumentation into the mix. "I Had a Rooster" is a great sound-making song, set to a sort of Techno-Country backing, while the banjo backed "Clap Your Hands" takes the highly popular traditional song, and turns it into a hoedown. "Hound Dog Song" bears some shades of Nebraska era Springsteen, while the traditional English/Appalachian song "The Cuckoo" is cleaned up a little bit for this children's outing, renamed here "Fourth Day of July."

Some World Music percussion enhances the traditional tale of "Molly Cottontail" turning it into a fun movement, and "cotton tail" shaking song, while sawing fiddle and animal noises transforms the story of "Hop Little Squirrel" into a fun-filled romp. The remaining songs are all Furgeson originals, including the lazy country wake-up blues of "By The Light," and the beautiful, tender love song "Welcome to the World." The album closes with the two-step lullaby/waltz "Sleepy Song."

Andy Furgeson possesses a fine country tenor, with just enough natural twang to add both atmosphere and authenticity to his down-home delivery. The CD is housed in a simple cardstock pocket, with beautiful linocut artwork by Ryan Bruce. Lyrics and downloads are available on his simple but effective website.

Lahri Bond   ©2016 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.

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