Kids Music: Zee Avi, Okee Dokee Brothers, Danny Weinkauf
Nightlight, Through the Wood, No School Today
Nightlight by Zee Avi
For the youngest family members and their harried parents, Borneo-born Zee Avi offers Nightlight, a fine addition to the list of lullaby albums that endure when the kids are college-bound. With multigenerational appeal, Avi’s unique vocal imprint and spirited production bring new life to Bobby McFerrin’s classic “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” Nightlight also covers Joni Mitchell (“The Circle Game”), the Velvet Underground (“Who Loves the Sun”) and the greatest love song ever written for a rat (“Ben”). Avi’s “Rainbow Connection” would make Miss Piggy lose her bacon, along with her heart.
CD: Through the Wood by The Okee Dokee Brothers
Grammy winners The Okee Dokee Brothers’ second “Adventure Album” is a deliciously twangy CD/DVD collection of tunes transporting city-bound ears to an Appalachian picking party. Paying homage to traditional mountain sounds while maintaining modern appeal is no easy task. They do it brilliantly, aided by legendary kindie producer Dean Jones. “Sometimes life is better when you live it ‘out of tune,’ ” they sing as they create new audiences for traditional folkie sounds.
CD: No School Today by Danny Weinkauf
They Might Be Giants’ bassist Danny Weinkauf throws his voice into family music with a winning effort, No School Today. This upbeat collection of original tunes includes an adorable duet with Laurie Berkner (“Our Love Fits”) and a salute to science (“Archaeology”). “Ambivalent” may or may not become a favorite.