Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fairy Garden Dreams

I have been gardening a lot lately and have been inspired to look for gardening and nature songs for children. I recently went on an edible wild plants walk in Leverett Mass, with friend Pamela hosted by John Root! It was so much fun getting acquainted with the various little leafy greens and tendrils that are all around us! I ate almost all the leaves I found, my favorite being the large clovers and something called an elephant ear. Since this experience I have been drawn to nature spirits and these fun muses for my own personal songwriting, as well as for my soon to be radio show! These are a few of my favorite musical ladies of "The Fairy Garden Dreams".

I was recently introduced to the sweet sounds of Vashti Bunyan by my friend Pamela Wyn Shannon, a wonderful musician as well. I found Vashti Bunyan's mellow folk music to be perfect for little ears, since her lyrics are filled with magic, nature and colorful images... I love her song Glow Worms, and adore the Swallow song off of her re-released album from the 60's called "Another Diamond Day".

Pamela Wyn Shannon is a wonderful delight of both acoustic folk and magical Celtic. Her song Pipkin won my heart the first time I heard it. Pamela is a talented songwriter, guitarist and singer, a rare jewel of fine talent. Her songs are loved by both big people and little ones! My six year old son loves her CD, it helps him "to feel magical"!
"Shannon's inventive and intricate guitar work has been described as "a tiny chamber orchestra working in unison at the end of her hands," and her vocal style has a delicate lilting sensitivity. Her unique compositions have an elliptical quality which creates its own time frame, rules, and kingdoms, and are reminiscent of the magic found in UK '60s artifacts."

Joanna Newsom's Appalachian-meets-avant-garde take on folk music is very unique, she is a classically trained harpist, and plays all her songs with just harp and a quirky fun voice! My favorite song of hers is called "Sprout and the Bean" on the album "The Milk Eyed Mender". This album is fun for a summer day in the garden with fairies and wee-ones!

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I have recently been asked to take over my friend Michael Pollitt's children's music radio show at WMUA (Umass Amherst). I start my training tomorrow!! yippee! I have decided to start a mini research into children's music radio shows to see what I can learn from them. I will post my top 4 favorite in no particular order since their are over 95 radio shows listed on KIDS MUSIC PLANET! The cool thing about radio these days is that the majority of radio shows are streamed online!

1. Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child: Indie music for indie kids on 93.9 The River and Valley Free Radio VFR-Saturdays 7-9 AM. I have actually been on Bill Childs show with my former band The Pop Rockets, he and his daughter Ella who host the show are really quite fun and quirky! They play a Great variety of indie rock for kids, and their blog is a great kid friendly resource for people in the Western Mass area!

2. RADIO CHILDREN- You have to check this radio show out, it is basically run by children, including video, music, interviews... I am totally digging this concept. according to the description on their site it is ---- "A mad, funny, contemporary, cultural and informative 40-50 minute programme beamed out of London to children all over the world. Children are the main presenters, interviewers and the stars of the shows.

3. RADIOJOJO Das Kinderradio: the first German non-commercial, non-profit radio station for children. It is a radio station for ages 3-13 where children make their own shows. They produce a variety of shows with educational and cultural content. HOW COOL!!

4. GLOBAL RADIO KIDS: This is AMAZING!! This is a radio show hosted by 5 children from 5 different countries and it is expanding as we speak!! I love technology and the digital age!

5. Michael Pollitts' Teddy Bear Picnic radio show: on WMUA Amherst Mass 91.1 FM every Thursday 4:30-5:30 p.m. Michael does a wonderful show for kids of all ages! He even reads from a book each week, plays great children's music both new and traditional. My son Devin and I recently sat in on the show and had a fun time picking out Puff the Magic Dragon on Vinyl from the wall of records... very cool! I am so grateful to continue this show for Michael once he leaves this Fall, Thanks Michael!