Since 1999, the fine folks at Putumayo Kids have been curating some of the most wonderful collections of world music, aiming to introduce children to other cultures through song.
American Playground, the group’s latest release, delivers classic American sing-alongs through a diverse array of styles. While many of the songs are familiar folk tunes, other genres such as blues, gospel, country and jazz are also represented.
Like a delicious slice of apple pie, American Playground, serves up time tested renditions of familiar tunes such as “This Land Is Your Land,” “This Little Light Of Mine,” “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round The Mountain,” and “Oh, Susannah.”
Some of our favorite kindie artists are featured on American Playground starting with Johnny Bregar, who recorded a new version of “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round The Mountain” specifically for American Playground. Other artists like Elizabeth Mitchell, Dan Zanes and Randy Kaplan are also featured. I especially love the jazzy, upbeat “Blue Skies,” delivered by Texas based Country-western artist Aaron Watson (with Elizabeth McQueen). Watson’s and McQueen’s sunny vocals make you want to throw a picnic blanket under a shady tree, sip on some lemonade and soak up the fresh summer air.
“We All Need More Kindness In This World,” an original written by Guy Davis, delivers a wonderful message while capturing the essence of early American folk. Hearing Buck Howdy’s upbeat, country version of “You Are My Sunshine” breathes new life into a song that was introduced to me when I was a child and one that I have sung to Em since she was born. It’s also the perfect tempo for kicking up your heels and swingin’ around with a little partner or two.
Once again Putumayo Kids delivers a quality collection of songs. American Playground is filled with timeless classics that span generations. In addition to enjoying the sounds that were so influential in the history of American music, families who purchase the album can enjoy a colorful, star-spangled booklet containing 20 pages of information about each artist, along with the origin of each song. Recommended for all ages!
Take a listen to American Playground through Putumayo Kids’ Bandcamp widget below. You can also grab a copy from Amazon.
Note: Last year, Putumayo Kids announced the first-ever digital availability of selected recordings, including American Playground, available for purchase through the LeapFrog App Center. Additionally, those with satellite radio can enjoy The World Playground with Putumayo, featuring Putumayo Kids’ music, on Saturdays at 10 a.m. EST through Channel 78 (Kids Place Live).
Giveaway: The folks at Putumayo Kids have generously offered to give away a copy of this American Playground to one lucky reader. Click here to win.