To celebrate our kiddos heading back to school, here's a playlist of some of my favorite artists making amazing music for kids and families today. Check out these great artists and create fun family singalongs on your drives to and from school this year. Keep singing and enjoy!
Walter Martin, “We Like The Zoo (‘Cause We’re Animals Too)
Both of Walter’s children records are among my favorite family records released in the last few years. He has an honest voice and a great sense of melody. In addition to this song, I also love “Hey Matt”, another duet he did with Matt Berninger from “The National", one of my favorite bands.
Elizabeth Mitchell, “Keep On The Sunny Side”
Elizabeth’s voice is like a cozy blanket. It’s pure with beautiful vulnerability. I am in love with everything she has released and especially love this collaboration with one of the best drummers of all time, Mr. Levon Helm.
Frances England, “Home”
I listened to a podcast where Frances was interviewed a few months ago and was extremely charmed by her story and how she began making music for families. A sweet soul making great music in today’s kindie scene. Her new album “Blue Skies & Sunny Days” is out 8/17!
The Okee Dokee Brothers, “Out of Tune”
These guys are the real deal and I’ve been a fan for a long time. They have created a world of adventure for all ages that inspires listeners to live life to the fullest, all the while enjoying the beauty that’s all around us. Their new album “Winterland” will be available 10/19!
Caspar Babypants, “Just For You”
One of the most creative and lyrically innovative artists making music today. He writes cool songs, cares about production quality, and has a massive catalog of crazy good music. Big fan. His new record “Keep It Real” comes out 8/17!
Recess Monkey - Carry A Tune
A lot of the Recess Monkey catalog takes a walk on the wild side, but this is a sweet song reminding us all to whistle while we work. Great song and great band.
Sharon, Lois & Bram - Hey Dum Diddley Dum
I grew up listening to SL&B records and this song was always one of my favorites. Since Lois’s retirement in 2000, Sharon & Bram have continued touring and are still making amazing music for families. This year marks 40 years since their first record “One Elephant, Deux Elephants”, one my favorite records of all time. I’m lucky to call them friends and consider them the greatest of all time.
Dan Zanes (w/Andrew Bird), “I Don’t Need Sunny Skies”
Dan Zanes is constantly reinventing the children’s music scene while continuing to stay true to the roots of where it all started. Someone gave me one of his records a few years back and I’ve since listened to his whole catalog. I love this duet he did with Andrew Bird and also love the new collection of Leadbelly tunes he just released this year.
Raffi - Dragonfly
The legendary Raffi just released a brand new record called “Dog On The Floor” which I think is one of his best records yet. I listened to the whole thing on a road trip through the mountains and found myself smiling and singing the whole time. Its a beautiful record by a man who has dedicated the majority of his life to honoring children and has created effective conversation about our role in doing so. I’m also reading his book “Child Honouring” right now and I’m blown away and on board. Go give “Dog on The Floor” a spin!
Justin Roberts, “If I Were”
This is my favorite song from his latest album “Lemonade”. Justin's lyrics shoot straight to the heart and the instrumentation is on this record is near perfect. Home run.
Red Yarn - To Raise A Barn
I love this record so much. Andy Ferguson (AKA Red Yarn) isn’t afraid to say what needs to be said. His lyrics speak to the times while also meeting our kids square in the eyes. His use of puppetry is amazing and love for traditional folk is inspiring. Go buy anything Red Yarn has released.
Josh Lovelace - Climb A Tree
I’m including this song on this playlist because it is the heartbeat of why I do family music, and I believe it’s probably the same for most or all on this playlist. Our children deserve the best we can give them so let’s be kind, love our neighbors, and lead by example. Let’s go climb a tree and see how tall that we can be.