Review: Dreamers of Dreams - Erin Flynn with the Co-Op Band

erinflynn.jpg It’s hard work reinterpreting classic kids’ tunes -- it takes imagination and a little bit of brazenness. Originally released in 2004, Erin Flynn’s debut Dreamers of Dreamshas enough of both. Flynn, who now teaches at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago (and appeared on their Wiggleworms Love You album), recorded the album in Philadelphia with a large and talented Co-Op Band, giving her freedom to take musical chances. My favorite reinterpretation is their version of the classic “Mary Mack,” which starts off slowly and gradually picks up speed before becoming a full-on punk version. In “Twinkle,” Flynn uses “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” as a jumping-off point for original music (reminiscent of Guster) and sky-centric lyrics. The original songs, while decent, collectively may be too earnest for the adults and too abstract in places for younger kids. (I tried but couldn’t resist, however, the best song the Partridge Family never sang, “Join In With a Song.”) The 40-minute album employs many musical styles -- the punky “Mary Mack,” for example, or country and bluegrass on the “Train” medley -- but most commonly has a folky, jam-band feel, thanks especially to the adept percussion work. The album is best for kids age 3 through 7, with sound clips (and the album) available at the album's CDBaby page. Fans of Elizabeth Mitchell, Brady Rymer, and Frances England will find much to like on this collection, particularly the fabulous reinterpretations. Recommended.