Thursday, November 4, 2010

2010 Holiday Guide: Gifts of Music

With Halloween now behind us, and your pumpkin waiting for the first frost, we turn our attention to the upcoming holiday season.

This article, the first installment in this series, provides information and ideas for parents and caregivers for children’s entertainment-oriented gifts for the upcoming holidays.

From now until December 21, 2010, new offerings will be featured in many entertainment categories in addition to music, so you may wish to bookmark this page to enable further explorations of the highlighted links at your leisure.

The products, which appear below have been researched for quality as well as value, and are geared to provide the children in your life with many hours of positive and fun-filled entertainment.

Today we take a look at the gift of music.

There are numerous choices in this category, and we will work backwards from the most recent music releases, to those that occurred earlier in the year.

It is suggested that you cross-compare pricing with various online as well as stick and brick retailers when available.

As always, you are the best judge of what is appropriate for your child’s entertainment.

Enjoy the musical journey, as there will be many choices provided, which cover a multitude of musical tastes.

The New Explorers Club by Flannery Brothers

A recent release from October 19, 2010, The New Explorers Club by Flannery Brothers marks this energizing duo’s third album launch.

Winners of 13 prestigious awards, including the Lennon Award for Best Children’s Song in the 2008 John Lennon Songwriting Contest, the Flannery Brothers (Mike and Dan) are fun, engaging, and easy-going with their brand of family music.

You can sound sample all 13 tracks of Flannery Brothers’ New Explorer’s Club as well as order the complete compact disc for $15.00, or the down-loadable format for $9.99 direct from the artists’ website.

For your enjoyment, below is “Pirate or Parrot,” a video interpretation from one of Flannery’s songs from their New Explorers Club album.

Jim Cosgrove’s Swimming in Noodles

For the last decade, Jim Cosgrove has delighted audiences with his “Free Range Family Rock” in over 200 performances throughout the year that included stops around the United States, Europe and even The White House.
Swimming in Noodles, Cosgrove’s latest release, which debuted October 5, 2010, joins his extensive discography and marks his first collaboration with Grammy-nominated producer Tor Hyams, and provides a mixture of bright effervescent tunes that celebrate “the wonder of youth.”

On November 1, the National Association of Parenting Publications (NAPPA) announced it’s 2010 Audio Award winners and Cosgrove’s Swimming in Noodles has been honored with a gold award.

All 14 tracks of Swimming in Noodles along with lyrics are available as a download for $8.00, or ordered in a full CD format for $12.00; selections may be sound sampled direct from Cosgrove’s online store.

To learn more about Jim Cosgrove and his trio band, The Hiccups, along with his extensive discography, latest concerts and seminars, his blog, “Mr. Stinky Feet’s Road Trip,” and to view music videos, go directly to the artist’s website.

Use Your Words

Released September 28, 2010, New York City musician Jeremy Zmuda’s, Use Your Words, is a unique “language based music” album that features lyrics developed by early childhood specialists.

Use Your Words offers a mixture of musical genres including pop, country, folk, Jazz and rock to ease in subtle messages that highlight children’s feelings in everyday social encounters.

Joined on the album are musical artists Madeleine Peyroux, Kirk Douglas (The Roots), Joy Dragland and Leo Sidran.

The 14 original songs, for children ages two through six may be sound sampled at Zmuda’s website, and where you will also learn more about Zmuda’s unique qualifications for this album, check out his upcoming live performances, download song lyrics and purchase the CD at the suggested retail price of $13.99.

Use Your Words is also available through online retailers and Best Buy.

The Best Candy in the Whole World and Other Stories by Bill Harley

 Launched September 14, 2010, another hit album from Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter, storyteller, author and playwright Bill Harley.

This 67-minute album features a collection of two original Harley stories plus folktale adaptations from Africa, Appalachia and the British Isles, along with a bit of music.

Entertainment Weekly called Harley “the Mark Twain of contemporary children’s music,” and he’s as equally at home and accomplished as an author and storyteller.

Harley’s latest recording imparts the important message that “a little kindness can bring magic to everyday life.”

You can read all about Harley, along with his newsletter and check out his upcoming tour schedule when you visit his official website.

Excerpts from The Best Candy in the Whole World and Other Stories are available for listening, and may be purchased as an individual MP3 track download or full album download for $8.00, or ordered in the CD format for $15.00 through Harley’s online store.

Meet the Squeegees

Meet the Squeegees, a debut EP album from the Southern California based group of the same name features lots of positive messages, which include such topics as healthy eating, environmental awareness and animal rescue.

Songs are arranged for vocals, acoustic guitar, and sometimes a shaker or two, with music that appeals to infants, toddlers, parents and caregivers.

Sound samples and music videos of Meet the Squeegees are available directly from the artist’s website, where you’ll also find news, information about upcoming shows, and a special “Mommy’s Corner.”

The Squeegees debut album was released August 24, 2010, and
all 14 tracks of Meet the Squeegees are available in CD format exclusively at Target for $7.99.

 Matt Clark’s Funnier Little Fellas

A nice mix of country, blues, pop and even rap, written by composer Matt Clark for his two young sons, Rowlin and Quillan. The album takes toddlers, young children and parents on a musical journey reflecting family insights of everyday life.

Released in August 2010, this is a companion album to Clark’s debut disc, “Funny Little Fella.”

Sound samples for all 14 tracks of Funnier Little Fellas are available through CD Baby,where you will find the entire download MP 3 album for $9.99 or complete CD for $12.00.

Biographical information about Clark along with news, reviews and some free musical downloads are accessible through the artist’s website.

To learn about many other musical releases from the earliest portion of the year, please visit my home page at the National Edition of

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