Based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, singer-songwriter Paul Spring makes his family music debut with the comforting sounds of Home of Song. Produced by Dean Jones and Joe Mailander (half of the Grammy winning duo, The Okee Dokee Brothers), Home of Song is a highly singable collection of songs will inspire a sense of imagination and adventure for listeners of all ages.
The most appealing aspect about Home of Song is Spring’s talent as a songwriter. With passion and enthusiasm, Spring delivers meaningful lyrics with much depth. Whether he is singing about the pouring rain, a beloved story or the cycles of the moon, Spring’s soulful voice shines with sincerity.
In addition to Spring’s ability to write illustrative lyrics, there is an undercurrent of love and appreciation for family that is woven into the fabric of this album. Although I typically don’t like to compare artists in terms of musicality, I find the sentiment behind Home of Song similar to Elizabeth Mitchell’s approach of incorporating family members and friends into her own music making process. Much like Mitchell, Spring is also accompanied by family members and friends who collectively add depth, dimension and meaning to the album’s makeup. Underscoring this point is the metaphorical title track, “Home of Song.” The lyrics, “Oh how often I think that melody was my mother/ rhythm my father/ keeping my steps in line/ and my brothers and sisters filled in the notes between us/ making a harmony to hold through time,” symbolize family unity in a beautiful way.
Spring invites listeners on a humorous stroll down memory lane as he sings about a washed up van from his childhood in “Sloppy Jaloppy.” While kids may not necessarily understand lyrics like “We’ll be going up and down like the Dow Jones and NASDAQ,” adult listeners are certain to smirk in acknowledgment of what feels like an inside joke. I can’t help but recall my own, similar childhood experience in which our old car broke down in the middle of a well traveled highway, interrupting our journey to the beach. As I hear Spring’s words, images from that time flash through my mind like pastel painted Polaroids.
Another lovely aspect of Home of Song is the celebration of nature. Growing up on the banks of the Mississippi provides fodder for songs like the sea-faring “Red Sky at Morning,” which taught us what a crow’s nest is. “Rain,” a refreshing tune that welcomes the pouring rain on a hot summer’s eve, is one that gets heavy rotation in our home. I particularly love the chord progression in the beginning of the song and the delicate accents of the piano as it mimics the sounds of droplets of water. There is also “Mississippi River,” a spelling game that honors the beauty of the river itself. The song has a nice tempo, smoothed out and slow enough for kids to follow along as Spring spells Mississippi letter by letter. Spelling Mississippi is a fun game for my 4 yr old and actually makes her feel quite accomplished as she continues to proudly spell it long after the song is over.
As a bookworm and someone who wanted to be Nancy Drew growing up, I thoroughly enjoy the way Spring enlivens classic works such as Peter Pan, Don Quixote and Sherlock Holmes, highlighting the love, heroism and camaraderie in each. The lyrics “What I read in my books/ I believe is true,” from the song “Don Quixote,” nicely reinforces the value of reading and the excitement it brings.
As much as I’d enjoy it, being the parent of a young child means that I don’t get to sit on the banks of a river, meditate on the beauty of nature or sit and read an exciting story while the afternoon drifts away. Thankfully, my daughter and I have Home of Song, an album that captures the essence of those feelings in a very real and harmonious way. They say home is where the heart is. In Paul Spring’s case, so is song. Highly recommended.
You can listen to samples from Home of Song through SoundCloud widget below. Purchases can be made through Paul Spring’s Official site, CDBaby, Amazon and iTunes. Make sure to check out the very entertaining video for “Peter Pan,” a groovy song which is a tribute to the kid in all of us. The song features Spring, The Okee Dokee Brothers and the Lost Boys.