Laura Veirs' new album is a collection of folk songs for children called Tumble Bee. Recorded by Grammy-nominated producer Tucker Martine in their home in Portland, Oregon in the spring of 2011, it covers a wide range of American folk songs, from early 20th century work songs to the ballads of Jimmie Rodgers, Woody Guthrie, Peggy Seeger and Harry Belafonte. Veirs and Martine have made a jaunty and moving album to be enjoyed by children as well as all fans of Veirs' earlier work.
What do you get when you mix rollicking and soulful folk songs with captivating vocals and a first-rate mix of harmonies, guitars, banjo, piano, percussion, accordion, brass, strings and whistles? A topnotch family folk album, shaped, layered and made shiny new by skilled musicians led by vocalist Laura Veirs, whose voice is graceful, expressive and utterly charming. Each song is a memorable little jewel, from the familiar ''All the Pretty Little Horses'' and a version of ''Froggie Went A-Courtin' '' called ''King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O'' to Wood' Guthrie's ''Why Oh Why,'' Ruth Seeger's arrangement of ''Jack Can I Ride?'' and ''The Fox,'' based on a 15th century poem about a foxy late-night poultry raid. The one new song ''Tumble Bee,'' written by singer and multi-instrumentalist Karl Blau, fits right in. --Parents Choice Award Gold Medal