Artist: Jessie Farrell
Album: Take Me Outside
Age Range: 3 through 7
Description: A few years back, I thought that country music would be the next genre to receive the full kids music treatment. There were a couple artists that took that approach and then... it all faded away. Today there's virtually nobody making what I'd think of as straight-ahead country for the younger set.
Enter Canadian musician Jessie Farrell, who's recorded four albums of country music for adults and has now released this new album for kids. The album title suggests songs celebrating nature and the outdoors, and sure enough, that's what we get. The gentle "Wind," the messy "Marvellous Mud Pie," the earthy "Bugs and Slugs" (all about, yes, bugs and slugs). The production features Farrell's warm voice with a hint of twang and enough fiddle and acoustic guitar to place this firmly in the country music camp. While I didn't care too much for the songs that tried to make a point (in "Feeling Free," a kid begs the parents she loves to take her outside), songs like "Morning Song," which are more brief sketches, are more effective.
I still wonder why the lyrics-driven and production-focused genre that gives us artists like Kacey Musgraves and Eric Church hasn't produced more music for families. Take Me Outside is a good first step -- artfully done, and an album I'd recommend for any families who wish their family music collection had a little more twang.