Tuesday, 19 December 2017 22:52

My Favorite CDs of 2017

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It has been another outstanding year for kids’ independent (kindie) music. On Kids Corner we’ve shared new and exciting sounds from old favorites and new discoveries. If you’re in search of great music for the whole family, we have some suggestions, starting with a list of Grammy contenders that reflects some of my favorites.
This year’s Grammy nominations for Best Recording for Children demonstrate the range of music available to kids and families. When the Grammy Awards are given out on January 28, I’ll be watching online in the afternoon when the Children’s Grammy will go to one of five outstanding nominated projects. I am rooting for a 5-way tie among:


Morgan Taylor’s first CD-only release takes the drop of sunshine that is Gustafer to new adventures with a new adversary: Baconstein. An upbeat collection of imaginative tunes.                

Lisa’s third CD for kids reaches the whole family with guests like Craig Robinson and Ed Helms. It’s an upbeat yet reflective collection.

                Special guests from the Chicago music scene enhance this brilliant collection of original songs recorded live in the studio.

This duo’s intelligent high energy hip hop for kids grabs and empowers listeners with a hopeful path to the future.                

                The legendary South African band tell their story through songs that celebrate universal themes through their exquisite harmonies.   


Beyond Grammy contenders, there are outstanding choices among my favorite 2017 releases. Each is marked by musical excellence and clever lyrics. But what stands out most in each is the personal passion behind the project. There is a lot of great music for families out there. Go find it! 


                While I keep insisting you need to see this band perform live, their CD stands alone with wit, rhythm and imagination.          

                Historically authentic, musically brilliant collection of songs from the African-American experience from the mid-1800’s to the early Jazz era, with a swinging sound to engage young ears.       


A couple of artists shared their hometown pride in loving, brilliant, highly personal collections:


Some old friends released original new projects:


                The Recess Monkey guy’s first solo CD is deliciously goofy.               

                A clever, literate collection of original songs in a side project of Producer/Genius Dean Jones from Dog on Fleas.          


Some Kindie albums take a deceptively simple musical approach. Some are marked by incredible musical complexity that requires more thoughtful listening. Or, just sit back and let these wash over you:


 Old friends of ours produce their second album of insightful and fun original songs, while an indie voice stretches into kindie with her first album for kids:



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