A Renee & Friends release is cause for celebrating, or perhaps, more appropriately, settling into a comfy chair after running around all day.
So you can circle one month from today — April 12 — on your calendar, because that’s when Renee Stahl and cast of friends are releasing the next R&F album Kindred.
Like its predecessor Simpatico, Kindred features some of Stahl’s favorite artists in the kids music scene, including Elizabeth Mitchell, Lisa Loeb, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, Jennifer Paskow, and Ziggy Marley. (More from him below.) Stahl says the theme of this new album is “empowerment, community and compassion.” Fans of Simpatico will certainly warm to the new tracks as well, and those fans seeking a little more Renee & Jeremy music will also be pleased to hear Jeremy Toback joining Stahl on the album’s leadoff track “Kindness.”
While there are a lot of well-known names lending their voices, there are some some voices much closer to home, including Stahl’s two daughters. She cites producer Tom Rossi as being “wonderful in providing for an easygoing, fun vibe for them to shine with their sweet voices.” As for what it’s like to have your kids on your own album, she admits, “I do have to say it was a little easier when I wasn’t in the room.“
I get the lucky task today of premiering one of Kindred’s tracks, a duet between Stahl and Ziggy Marley on the Cat Stevens track “Where Do the Children Play?” It’s from Stevens’ classic album Tea for the Tillerman, an album which Rossi says he must have listened to “every day in high school.” The comparatively simple arrangement lets the voices take center stage, an immensely warm and pleasing sound the result. Perfect for timeouts, in a comfy chair or wherever.
Renee & Friends - “Where Do The Children Play? (featuring Ziggy Marley)” [Soundcloud]
Photo credit: Paul Dektor