Review in Brief: Never Mind the Rain - Tracey Eldridge

NeverMindTheRain.jpgNever Mind the Rain is the debut album from DC-area musician Tracey Eldridge, but she's been making kids music for a couple decades now.

Perhaps that helps explain the evident care and craft that's gone into the CD, a collection of kids' pop originals that traverses many musical styles, from the big band sounds of "Tommy Builds a Band / Tommy's Big Parade" (which mixes in snippets of "When the Saints Go Marching In") to the boogie woogie of "Buzzy Bumblebee."

Eldridge will occasionally include spoken-word intros to songs, and on some songs she's clearly try to teach something about the world at large. It's all well-done, but not everybody will groove to that approach, so that's my warning for ya. Personally, I preferred the slightly more offbeat and less message-oriented songs, like the goofy "Corn Chips" (a tribute to the very goofy Slim Gaillard, known for his song "Potato Chips," among others), "Oh, Zydeco" (on which Eldridge channels fellow DC-area musician Mary Chapin Carpenter), or "Beware of the Wily 'Ol Crocodile," where Eldridge cedes lead vocals on a very Grinchian track to her producer and musical partner Mookie Siegel.

The songs are most appropriate for kids ages 3 through 7. You can hear samples at Eldridge's website or the album's CDBaby page.

I know my audience well enough to know that this album won't be the favorite of every family looking for new music. But Never Mind the Rain is a collection of, well, sunny, positive, and occasionally educational kids music of every genre and there will be a few families that find that combination wonderful.