Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Bates Connection

The most recent Putumayo release, Acoustic Dreamland, came in the mail a few weeks back. I've reviewed other Putumayo releases, and it's a pretty safe bet that the songs they gather will be first rate.

Scanning the list of artists, I recognized some heavy hitters (like Frances England and Elizabeth Mitchell), but what made me stop and take notice was a familiar name I hadn't heard in 15 years or so...

My freshman year at Bates college in Lewiston ME, was during the heyday of mid-90's folk rock. Mark Erelli was an alum and a local hero and chances were on a Saturday night you could find Birkenstock wearing teens rocking out to his music somewhere on campus. Naturally I started by listening to his song "My Darling," and it was as good as I remembered him to be.

Though this is an acoustic album, it's not totally stripped down or bare bones. There are some lush arrangements featuring strings and winds (Like Lucy Kaplansky's title track "Dreamland" and the closer by Rick Scott (no, not that one!) "Next Time"). As a collection of "dreamy" night time music, this is a good CD to have on the bedside table.

The Mike Brady Wrap-up: If you're on a hunt for songs to usher your wee ones into pleasant dreams, I highly recommend Acoustic Dreamland. The performances are strong, the voices sweet and the arrangements are soothing. Sitting here in the afternoon, listening actively to each track, I will say that I've had my fill of breathy vocals, but that's what one might expect from an album of this kind. I appreciate compilations because it allows you to discover new artists who you might not have heard of before (or old ones you haven't heard since your college days).

Kid's Quote of the Day: As we were wrapping things up in music class, Valentina was praising her beautiful singing voice, "My Dad says I have the most beautifulest voice in the world." "You do have a beautiful voice Valentina. I am so glad you helped sing," I said. From the opposite corner of the room I heard, in a wistful almost love sick voice, "And she has a beautiful name!" ~Jackson (age:4)


Anne Deysher said...

This sounds wonderful. How great it would have been to have had access to such lush nighttime music when you were little.

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