Album: The Colored Pencil Factory
Age Range: 3 through 8
Description: There's not a lot of bluegrass available for kids, but Brooklyn-based band Astrograss flies the newgrass flag proudly. There are few traditional songs on the album ("Shortenin' Bread" and "Sail Away Ladies," to name a couple), but for the most part they're originals. Some are more traditional in their approach to their subject matter ("Playground"), but more of the originals are songs that meander into and out of wild Shel Silverstein-inspired territory (a sick kid wishing for a "Brand New Nose," dreaming of life in colors from "The Colored Pencil Factory"). Although the subjects are geared toward kids, the solos are every bit as complex as what you'd hear on albums targeted at adults.
The 49-minute album is most appropriate for kids ages 5 through 9. Recommended for bluegrass fans and for families looking for some variety in their daily diet of 3-minute kid-friendly pop-rock songs.