I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but children’s music is no longer (completely) horrific. We listen to a lot of different music in our house, but it’s true that the kids genre is the reigning king. Music has always been a huge part of my life; it is deep in my heart and soul and I pretty much have a soundtrack running in my head at all times. It’s the one thing I really want to
push encourage with my children, and luckily both boys have a natural love of music so I haven’t become a crazy stage mom just yet. We all know that listening to and playing music is so good for you, of course. There’s tons of studies about the benefits on your brain, etc. etc., but most of all, it’s fun! We sing songs in the car, we let our boys play our real instruments, and whenever they are feeling a little punchy, we break out the maracas and have a little dance party. It’s a great way to get some energy out when the boys are restless and wild.
Here are some of our favorite artists – staples for any music library – and bonus that they are all currently on tour. Try to catch them in your city!
1) Elizabeth Mitchell
Elizabeth Mitchell’s beautiful sound takes up the biggest part of my musical heart. I genuinely like her music, in fact, her voice is what I sound like in my own head (I don’t). The album You Are My Little Bird was a gift before Bennett was even born (thank you, Mary), and the cover of Woodie Guthrie Who’s My Pretty Baby became the tune I hummed to my growing belly. Once Bennett was born, her version of Bob Marley’s Every Little Thing became his lullaby. Many of Elizabeth’s delightful and folky songs feature her husband and daughter – I just love families making music together. She has a brand new album with Dan Zanes out just now, and here is a sweet video of their first single. They are currently on tour: Chicago friends, catch their show at Old Town School of Music on September 28th.
2) Okee Dokee Brothers
These guys are having the time of their lives, and it’s fun to be along for the ride. Can You Canoe? was composed while the brothers were canoeing down the Mississipi river, and they are currently working on an album about their recent trek on the Appalachian Trail. This album was a gift for Graham’s 2nd birthday (thank you, Jess!), and it was very quickly on high rotation in our house. I was super excited when I heard the gorgeous sound of the aforementioned Elizabeth Mitchell singing on the song Small and Simple. The album is feel-good Americana, full of banjos, fiddles, and harmonies, and so good that it even won a Grammy. San Francisco friends, the Okee Dokee Brothers are playing a few shows in early October so be sure to check it out!
3) Justin Roberts
My husband picked out a couple of Justin Roberts’ CDs when Bennett was a baby, and we’ve since collected most of his albums. He’s out on tour right now, hitting both coasts and some states in between. We just bought some tickets to see him in Texas in November. Justin’s songs really peak the interest of my kids. The lyrics are quirky and silly and they all have great melodies that the kids can really get in to. One of his songs, Little Raindrop, has become our family song for whenever it is about to rain. We are so cheesy and I love it! Justin is also based in my hometown of Chicago, so you know he has to be great.
So what are you listening to? Please leave any recommendations you have in the comments below!