Contest: Win Papa Crow's "Things That Roar" and More!

ThingsThatRoar.jpgI liked Papa Crow's 2011 debut Things That Roar quite a bit. So I'm pleased to be able to offer you (courtesy of Papa Crow himself, Jeff Krebs) a copy of that fine album, good at any time of year, and especially here in the hush of winter. But even if you've already got the album, there's another reason why you might be interested -- the winner of the contest will also get a handmade Papa Crow T-shirt (usually part hand-painted, part stenciled and part hand-stamped, and made by Krebs' wife) in a size of their choosing. So what do you need to do? Just enter a comment below or in the Facebook post announcing the contest with the animal who makes your favorite animal noise, roar or not. One entry per family, entries due by 11 PM East Coast time Thursday, Jan. 12. I'll pick one winner at random. And even if you don't win, if you're not familiar with Things That Roar, you can always sign up using the widget to the side to get three free downloads from the album for the price of an e-mail and zip code.

Share: "The Mixing Bowl" - Kira Willey

KingsAndQueens.jpgFive years ago Kira Willey released Dance for the Sun: Yoga Songs for Kids, an album of, well, yoga music for kids. It was, against the expectations I had when first presented with an album of "yoga music for kids," pretty good. It wasn't dorky, it wasn't goopy, and, frankly, you could listen to it even if you and your kids didn't know a downward dog from a hot dog. (And I say that as someone who practices -- albeit without real training -- yoga.) It also proved to be the exception to the rule -- no other similar CD I've heard has come close to its listen-ability. My wife used it to help teach a couple basic yoga sessions for kids, too. So I was pleased to hear last spring that Willey was working on a follow-up, and now it's finally here. It's called Kings & Queens of the Forest: Yoga Songs for Kids Vol. 2, and I think folks who liked the first go-round won't be disappointed with this new album. And if you're not sure whether it's for you, Willey's offering up a couple of songs off the new album free for the downloading. You can go to Willey's site for a free download of the peppy "Mr. Cricket Hop." And once your kids need a little quieter time, you can download (or stream) "The Mixing Bowl" via the widget below, courtesy of Willey. [Note: There aren't any more downloads via this link, so you can try here.]

Share: Music from Coal Train Railroad

CTRRSwings.jpgWould you like some free music -- like, ten songs worth? Ten good songs worth? Then Coal Train Railroad would like to be of assistance. They've offered up ten free tracks from their three albums -- two from their self-titled debut (which I liked), two from their latest album Coal Train Railroad Swings! (which I liked a lot), including "I'm Diggin' Me," and the whole 6-song EP Live in Monophonarma, which includes their take on the Jellydots' classic "Bicycle." The price of all this swingin' jazz goodness? An e-mail (preferably yours, otherwise some other random person's gonna get the download code) and a zip code (again, preferably yours). If you're not familiar with the band, it's definitely worth it.

Share: "Cat and a Bird" - Cat and a Bird

CatAndABirdHoliday.bmpLike the picture says. Almost all every track of Cat and a Bird's great self-titled debut album (really, it is) is now free on CD Baby for a limited time. You'll have to pay $0.99 for the album's one cover ("Wanna Be Like You" from The Jungle Book) and download the tracks one at a time, but it's definitely very much worth it. Download the tracks here.

Christmas Songs 2011, Part II

Part 1 of my list of this year's Christmas songs for kids was out of date as soon as I hit "publish," because I realized that I'd forgotten Billy Kelly's video from Dear Santa Claus (review). Maybe I was distracted by the mindbending song. Or maybe I was just wondering if this video is Kelly's video resume for applying to direct Paranomal Activity 4: The Christmas Special. Billy Kelly - "Glebells Jing" [YouTube] VeryRosieChristmas.jpgI reviewed Rosie Thomas' album A Very Rosie Christmas a few years back -- it's pretty good. (Anyone who can take a Chipmunks song and turn it into something earns lots of bonus points.) Anyway, she's got a new holiday tune out -- I don't think it's quite as good as the 2008 album, but you may like it... (Or just stream the whole holiday album here.)

Christmas Songs 2011, Part I

There is no shortage of songs from kids' musicians celebrating the Christmas season this year. I expect a few Hanukkah songs, maybe even a Kwanzaa song or two, before December is through. (Still waiting on Festivus kids music, though.) I'm titling this "Part I" fully expecting there will be at least another part or two this year. So let's get to it. I doubt you're gonna find another Christmas kids music video this year as hyper -- and, frankly, as awesome -- as this new video from Mista Cookie Jar. It's for a new track called "Robot for Xmas," which you can download for free here. But, really, it's the video that makes it. Mista Cookie Jar and the Chocolate Chips - Robot for Xmas [YouTube] You think I'm stopping here? Oh, no, there's plenty more...