Latin music and then off into the woods...
We start with another instalment of the Rough Guide series to global children's music. This time it's the “Rough Guide to Latin Music for Children”. As regular readers of this column will know, I tend to have a problem with this series – and it is the same with this album: Those who don't understand the language would not really know that this is children's music, and the sleeve notes don't give enough information about the background of the songs either. So whilst the quality of the music is good, it does not particularly feel like a children's CD. And I for one would rather play a “mainstream” Latin album to my children than this one...
As usual, there is a bonus CD included with the album, this time from Wayne Garbea's Salsa Picante (which does not appear to have any particular children's connection).
Going North-East from Latin America, we may eventually reach the Appalachian Mountains – which is the setting of the next album. The Okee Dokee Brothers embarked on a month long trek on the Appalachian trail. The album, with accompanying DVD, “Through the woods” tells the story of this adventure in songs.
The Okeedokee Brothers have specialised in family music with a goal to inspire children and their parents to get outside and experience nature, believing that this can motivate kids to gain a greater respect for the natural world, their communities and themselves. All very laudable. Indeed.
“Through the Woods” is a follow up to their previous album “Can you canoe?” (which apparently won a Grammy Award), and again the songs try to inspire young people with the album to connect with nature – with the songs being about camping, hiking and having fun and songs outdoors. They are based around content from the journals kept during the hike on the Appalachian trail (with entertaining excerpts of the journal in the sleeve notes). The songs are all written and sung by the Okee Dokee Brothers a.k.a. Justin Lansing and Joe Mailander, with a host of guest musicians. The music is old time, Americana and country.
Unfortunately I have not been able to watch the DVD (wrong format?) which is said to contain music videos and footage from the trip. Even without the DVD this is a solid piece of work that my girls (and I) enjoy.
Photo Credits: (1)-(2) CD Cover (from website).