A Mother’s Day Playlist + Free Download (limited time)

Mother’s Day is a special day! It’s a celebration of time spent watching, playing and growing with your little ones. Maybe you are getting a special homemade card that says “I LUV U MOM” or a kiss and a super duper leg squeeze from a little person (or two) who is just about as tall as your knee. Whatever the case may be, mom’s rock!

Speaking of mom rockstars, Beth Benz-Clucas of Sugar Mountain PR put together an awesome playlist featuring some of serious kindie talent. The best part? Starting today you can DOWNLOAD THE SONGS FOR FREE. But hurry because they are only downloadable for about a week. Although, the playlist will be available to stream beyond then.

Music has been a major “bonding agent” for me and my daughter and to have a collection of great music to share with her is already making Mother’s Day that much sweeter!

https://soundcloud.com/bethbcpr/sets/a-playlist-of-songs-for-moms

Please note that, according to Soundcloud, the download function works only on computers and laptops. Mobile devices and tablets ONLY allow for streaming of all of the songs.To Download, go to soundcloud and highlight the track you’d like, then click the download icon to the right.

The artists that make this playlist rock are:

  1. “Motorcycle Mom” – The Not-Its! (from their upcoming album Raise Your Hand)
  2. “No Fairy Tale” – Lisa Loeb
  3. “Ice Cream Girl” – Brady Rymer  
  4. “Our Love Fits” – Danny Weinkauf (feat. Laurie Berkner)
  5. “Red Piano Rag” – Brady Rymer
  6. “Black Bear Mama” – The Okee Dokee Brothers
  7. “Mockingbird” – Zee Avi
  8. “Mama’s House, Daddy’s House” – Suzi Shelton
  9. “Smile In My Heart” – Suzi Shelton
  10. “Tu Eres Amor” – Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band

Listen to this: Holiday Road Trip and Party Playlist

Turn up the holiday cheer with these 10 holiday and seasonal songs.  Whether you are going on a trip or bringing the fun into your own home you will definitely find cheer among this timely list of tunes!

This, my friends, is the right list for the job.

Happy holidays!

Credits include the following (provided by SoundCloud)

1. Nogturne in C Minor by The Jimmies : http://www.gimmejimmies.com
2. Oh, Hanukkah by Randy Kaplan: http://www.randykaplan.com and www.mykazootv.com
3. The Great Dreidel Tournament by Groovy David http://www.groovydavid.com
4. Eat Your Fruitcake by Farmer Jason http://www.farmerjason.com and www.mykazootv.com
5. Untangling the Christmas Lights by Brady Rymer http://www.bradyrymer.com
6. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree by The Not-Its! http://www.wearethenot-its.com
7. Under the Tree by Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band http://www.luckydiazmusic.com
8. Too Many Presents by Uncle Rock http://www.unclerock.com
9. Frosty the Snowman by Randy Kaplan http://www.randykaplan.com
10. Jingle Bells by Renee & Jeremy http://www.reneeandjeremy.com

Singled out: “Untangling the Christmas Lights” – Brady Rymer

565

Parents’ Choice Gold Award winner and Grammy nominee, Brady Rymer, delivers the perfect song to officially kick off the holiday season. “Untangling the Christmas Lights,” with its Rock n’ Roll rootsy sound, is a great song that many will surely relate to. And check out the beautiful artwork (above) that goes with it.  The vintage style of the colors and the layout of the images adds a warm, cozy feeling to an otherwise uncomfortable situation.

I love Brady’s commentary on the idea for the song:

“Every Christmas it’s the same… I lug out the boxes of Christmas tree lights thinking that I finally got smart last year and packed them up carefully, in a way that would make it easy to trim the tree. But, of course, once I open the box and get to trimmin’, it’s a chaotic, knotted, spaghetti of a mess! How’d it get this way? What have they been up to in that box all year long?”

I couldn’t agree more! Every year I tell myself ‘this time will be different,’ as I approach the box labeled “Xmas.” Proceeding with caution, I reach in, ready to delicately slip the lights right out of their cardboard cocoon and begin the tangle-free unfolding only to find my efforts squashed by a tangled web. How does that happen? I suppose unlocking this mystery might also solve the mystery of how socks get lost in the dryer. In the meantime, it’s good to have a friend to relate to! Thanks, Brady!

Brady is also featured on  A Laurie Berkner Christmas where he adds his warm voice to the wonderful sounds of “Children Go Where I Send Thee.”  Brady has been a big part of our rotation for several years now.  Not only is Brady a great musician but he also writes and performs for good causes.  His release Love Me For Who I Am, an album inspired by children affected by autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and related disorders, earned him Gold awards from the Parents’ Choice Foundation and NAPPA.  Proceeds from the album are donated to Autism Speaks.

Check out my review of Brady’s 2014 release Just Say Hi, as well as some of his other works at his official site.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on Dec 5, 2012 but because of how relevant it still is and will continue to be, I am declaring it a seasonal favorite!

Songs for the Season Part 1

DSC_0555

Now that we are past Thanksgiving, the holiday season is officially underway. Usually, we break out classic holiday CDs while stringing up lights around the house (and on my daughter’s dollhouse) and taking in the scents of our special candles. I’ve always loved the comfort of Ella Fitzgerald and Brenda Lee. Even Frank Sinatra and some instrumental holiday jazz have warmed our hearts on those cold nights. But for the past few years, we’ve added some variety to our music collection as some very talented kindie artists have released holiday albums containing both originals tunes and renditions of the season’s most beloved classics. The suggestions below are based on what we are listening to the most right now and those that we think your family will enjoy just as much. But, this is just the first list! There’s more to come so stay tuned for part 2!

You will find a YouTube playlist corresponding with the list of albums in this post, as well as the sample track “Jingle Bells” from Renee & Jeremy’s Sunny Christmas,” at the end of this post. Enjoy!

Laurie Berkner – A Laurie Berkner Christmas
We have been devoted Laurie fans for several years now and getting to hear Laurie’s very first Christmas album,  A Laurie Berkner Christmas, means this holiday season just got a whole lot sweeter. Coupled with her infectious charm, the songs are catchy and ready for some holiday sing-alongs. The album features 15 traditional holiday and seasonal songs, three of which were originally written by Laurie: “Santa’s Coming To My House Tonight,” “Candy Cane Jane,” originally featured on her 2008 release Rocketship Run, and “Christmas Lights.” Joining Laurie on the album is Brady Rymer in the spirited “Children Go Where I Send Thee (below).” Elizabeth Mitchell also joins in on the beautiful, folksy rendition of “Silent Night.”Kids will enjoy wiggling around, kicking their feet and laughing like they’re Santa Claus in “Santa’s Coming to My House Tonight,” spelling along with Laurie in “Jingle Bells” and learning about Gumdrop Joe, Candy Cane Jane and her horse with the candy cane mane in “Candy Cane Jane.”

A Laurie Berkner Christmas is truly delightful and one that should definitely be opened before Christmas. The album and the single “Candle Chase,” recorded especially for those who celebrate Chanukah, is available for purchase and digital download through Berkner’s site, Amazon, and other media outlets.

Renee & Jeremy – Sunny Christmas
Expanding on their 2011 single “Sunny Christmas,” Renee & Jeremy recently released a 6-song EP of the same name just in time for the holidays. Like other recordings from the Los Angeles duo, Sunny Christmas is like comfort food for your soul. The album opens with a sentimental greeting in “We Wish You A Merry Christmas,” and you will instantly want to add your voice to the harmonious vocals and your hands to the rhythmic clapping. The title track, “Sunny Christmas,” is a bouncy pop tune that reminds us that the true gift of the season is spreading peace, love and happiness to those around us. It’s hard not to feel cozy and warm while listening to anything by Renee & Jeremy and Sunny Christmas is certainly no exception. So, as you string up your tinsel and mistletoe or sip a cup of hot cocoa, let Renee & Jeremy fill the room with joy as they wish you and your family good tidings. Sunny Christmas can be sampled and purchased through Renee & Jeremy’s site and Amazon, as well as other regular media outlets. And be sure to listen to “Jingle Bells” at the bottom of the post.

Mama Doni – Chanukah Fever
Doni Zasloff, aka Mama Doni has Chanukah FEVER! brings us a quirky compilation of Chanukah songs that is sure to shine like a brightly lit menorah amidst the plethora of Christmas albums on the shelves or maybe even in your living room. Expanding on her 2008 EP, I Love Chanukah, Mama Doni’s Chanukah Fever celebrates the historical and traditional aspects of the holiday through a variety of musical styles, including disco, reggae, rock and ’80s freestyle rap. The 14-song album includes original tracks such as “The Funky Gold Menorah,” “Latke Man” and “La Vida Dreidel.” Even Hanukah Harry gets a personal note. Mama Doni’s songwriting skills and knack for Jewish humor is sure to bring your family to tears with laughter this holiday season.

Chanukah Fever can be sampled and purchased through Mama Doni’s site, Amazon and other media outlets.

Bonus: Mama Doni’s cookbook, Get Cooking, was just released, and it includes some fine family recipes and a 29-song CD. Grab it while it’s hot!

2013 UPDATE: Check out for Mama Doni’s new releases, Mama Doni’s Jewish Holiday Party(DVD) and Mama Doni: The Acoustic Jewish Holiday Collection (CD), available beginning November 12 at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, iTunes, FYE Stores, See of Sound, and directly through Mama Doni’s website. This collection of Chanukah themed songs is set to acoustic and bluegrass sounds creating a warm, sentimental vibe. Highly recommended. See YouTube video playlist below to check out some of these sweet sounds for songs like “A Chanukah Love Song, ‘Eight,'” “Honey This Ain’t Money,” and “Chanukah, Oh Chanukah” which contains Hebrew and English verses.

The Hipwaders – A Kindie Christmas
A Kindie Christmas by Bay Area band The Hipwaders is a holiday classic and offers a unique take on holiday jams. The album features 10 original songs filled with a diverse array of sounds ranging from funk in “It’s Wintertime” to country rock in “Santa’s Train,” which features Santa coming down the tracks in a red hopper car full of toys, and the R.E.M.-like sound of “Wake Up.” Other songs include “Tinsel & Lights,” a nostalgic ode to festive traditions, and “Christmas Vicuna,” a humorous tale about a South American camel who dreams of flying like a reindeer.

A 2010 Honors Award winner from the National Parenting Publication Association (NAPPA), A Kindie Christmas is the perfect alternative to the classic carols of the season and will have your family rockin’ around the Christmas tree and beyond.

A Kindie Christmas can be sampled and purchased through the The Hipwaders’ site (where you can also find local holiday show dates), Amazon and other media outlets.

Dan Zanes – Christmas in Concord
Dan Zanes‘ fans will have another reason to celebrate the upcoming holiday season with the re-release of Christmas in Concord. The mini-album which celebrates the old Christian tunes that have been a part of Christmases in Zanes’ hometown of Concord, NH, for generations also has two new songs which feature Pulitzer Prize winning author Suzan-Lori Parks. Parks brings rich, soulful accompaniment in my favorite song, “Rise Up Shepherd and Follow.” The song was initially performed at a legendary local venue for people in need, known as the Friendly Kitchen. During a road trip, Zanes and Parks wrote “I’m Counting the Days Until Christmas” while reminiscing about their fathers’ experiences in the military. As with most of Zanes’ work, there is a feeling of joy in being surrounded by, creating and sharing music. Christmas in Concord carries the same feeling. Coupled with a nostalgic backstory, a well chosen collaboration and Zanes’ soft rasp, classics like “Joy To the World,” “Deck the Halls” and “Silent Night,” are sure to warm your heart as you snuggle and share your own stories with your loved ones. Christmas in Concord can be heard and purchased through Dan Zanes’ official site and Amazon, as well as other regular media outlets.

Ben Rudnick – It’s Santa Claus!
It’s Santa Claus! by Ben Rudnick & Friends contains renditions of traditional holiday tunes that don’t stray too far from the sounds of the originals but certainly showcase the group’s signature folksy rock style. The title track, “It’s Santa Claus,” an original on the album, is a bouncy tune that is just as jolly as the man in the red suit.
The album is made up of catchy arrangements filled with the instrumental stylings of the many “Friends” who play along with Rudnick. “Jingle Bells” is jazzy with saxophonic accents, and even “Greensleeves,” a song I obsessively played on the piano in my earlier days, gets a jumpstart with some fast-paced finger picking and accordion before it slows down toward the end.

It’s Santa Claus will provide your family with a fresh festive twist on holiday classics. You can hear samples and purchase It’s Santa Claus! through Rudnick’s site, Amazon and other media outlets. Learn about the inspiration for and the making of the album on Rudnick’s blog.

Holiday Playlist [Courtesy of YouTube]