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Review & Giveaway: Christmas: God with Us by Jeremy Camp

If you haven’t heard, you should know that Jeremy Camp recently released his first full length Christmas album in his 10 year career. And if you are already a fan of Jeremy, you’ll probably want to snag “Christmas: God With Us” to enjoy whether listening to it as background music for holiday get-togethers, trips here in there in car, wrapping presents, and whatever else you find yourself doing during the holidays!

On this album you’ll find many well known and traditionally loved Holiday classics with one original title track “God With Us”. Total album run time is a about thirty five minutes long and there are a total of ten tracks. A few of our favorites include “Mary Did You Know”, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”, and O Little Town of Bethlehem”.

I was surprised to find songs such as Jingle Bell Rock and Let it Snow on the album but overall thought that Jeremy did a great job in offering a fresh new arrangement of many of the songs I have grown to love to listen to during the holidays! His voice is rich , strong, and he knows how to offer up a deep meaningfulness behind every song sung.

My family and I have been enjoying listening to this album and it will  definitely be a regular in our pile of Christmas albums to listen to from now until Christmas Day.  I give God with Us a 4 out of 5 rating.

Buy it: If interested in purchasing Christmas: God with Us for yourself, a friend, or a loved one, you can do so as it’s currently 7.99 for an MP3 album or you can get it for less than 10.00 for a physical copy on Amazon.com.

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Disclosure: I received the above mentioned products in exchange for my opinion of them. This review is 100% my opinion and has not been edited or reviewed by anyone. I was not compensated in any other way for this product review.

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Album Review: Chris Mann “Roads”


On October 30th, Chris Mann’s debut album “Roads” will be hitting the streets! If you have not heard about Chris Mann, I must say you are missing out! Chris first made appearance on the opening season of the popular prime-time NBC singing competition show The Voice. I must admit I’ve not seen the show much myself but was pretty impressed with the results of discovering such an artist especially after recently hearing a copy of Chris’s album Roads myself over the weekend.

His album runs about an hour long and there are a total of 11 tracks. Songs included covers such as Lady Antebellum’s hit song “Need You Now”, Willie Nelson’s “Always on My Mind“ and Damien Rice’s “The Blower’s Daughter”. There is even as special guest appearance by Christina Aguilera that I’m sure most fan will delight in!

I can deeply resonate with the song Roads on which the name of the CD was choosen. A few of the lines of the song are “There are roads in this life that we all travel. There are scars and there are battles where we roam. When we are lost or wherever we may go. They will always lead you home,”. Chris’s rich strong voice keeps you drawn into the song completely. It’s a great song to remind us of the journey we are on in life and no matter if you go astray, there’s always the road to home and not to fear what lies ahead.

The Blower’s Daughter is a song I can see being played at weddings, included in special photo and video projects for the loves of our lives, and much more! The power, words, and feeling behind this song can truly be heard from both Chris and Christina! I always enjoy hearing songs that are sung like it’s meant to be heard and felt.

Chris Mann and the background choir included does an exceptional job with the song Ave Maria. No matter what this song has always been a favorite of mine and this version done by Chris has done nothing less of leaving me with goosebumps!

I was touched and completely moved by the entire album of Roads. This is no CD to look over. You totally need this one in your collection! I know I am looking forward to many more albums by this exceptional singer. You must check it our for yourselves! I highly recommend it!

If interested, you can purchase the “Roads” on iTunes (http://bit.ly/SgkwJb) and/or Amazon.com (http://amzn.to/XQpJc8). It would make a great stocking stuffer this Holiday season too! And remember, this album hits the streets on October 30th though you can go ahead and pre-order it right away.

Disclosure: “This is a review post from One2One Network. I was provided with a copy of the album and I am eligible for a prize drawing. All opinions stated are my own.”

 

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CD Review: The Colored Pencil Factory by Astrograss


If you love exposing your children to different genres of music, you might want to check out some good ole’ bluegrass both new and old with a mix of Eastern European folk music from the children’s band ( though not limited too!) Astrograss! This band recently released their third album of traditional and orginal, imaginative, adventurous, and all around feel good tunes on the 16th of this month.

Two years in the making, The Colored Pencil Factory presents a living document in song, showing how a traditional art form like bluegrass can speak of the joys, dreams, and even the troubles of today’s kids in a musical language saturated with cultural history. Notes Astrograss’s Jordan Shapiro, “I believe that bluegrass music, and all American folk music, is essential listening for kids, and I also believe that the purity of the music is important. We made The Colored Pencil Factory without the use of any amplifiers, drums, pedals, or ‘effects.’ We recorded the album in our fiddle player’s living room and played the songs just the way we’d play them at a park or in a kitchen. It’s pure, organic, natural Americana.

There are a total of 16 songs on The Colored Pencil Factory. Traditional toe tapping songs include those such as “Shortenin’ Bread”, “Cluck Old Hen”, “and “Sail Away Ladies” to name just a few. Other songs that caught our fancy have been Minutes to Flowers, Happy Sad and More Song, and my kids were pretty grossed out but throughly enjoyed hearing Brand New Nose (a song about a head cold). The lyrics are fun, they draw you in, and tell a story. The music is rich and wholesome. The instruments are distinct in play and I just love really hearing each take the stage all on its own in a fun lively way. It just doesn’t get much better than that in a children’s music album, in my opinion. I’m totally looking forward to this bands next album!

You can learn more about the band and this album at: http://www.astrograssmusic.com/kids/

If interested in purchasing, you can find the mp3 album as well as a physical copy of the project of the Colored Pencil Factory on Amazon.com. Think great music year round but great for gifting during the upcoming Holidays too!

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned products in exchange for my opinion of them. This review is 100% my opinion and has not been edited or reviewed by anyone. I was not compensated in any other way for this product review.

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Music Review & Giveaway: The Piano Guys


This month, The Piano Guys released their new self titled album. My husband having heard of them and seen their acts on Youtube before me was pretty excited about this release. And after hearing this album he said that it was top notch and a must have for those that enjoy hearing great covers on songs they already know and love.

There are 13 tracks on this album making the runtime approximately an hour. Fans will delight with familiar mash ups of songs new and old, I know we were! A few of our favorites include; Cello Wars (Star Wars Parody), Over the Rainbow/Simple Things, and about every other song that can be found on this album. It’s really awesome how they uniquely and beautifully made certain hits songs by artist like Adele, One Direction, and Coldplay their very own. It makes you wonder what songs they’ll be doing next!

My husband and I love the CD and highly recommend it. You’ll almost find me daily upping the volume of my CD player to the Piano Guys. Anytime I listen it’s almost like the first time. I love closing my eyes, listening, and just feeling the sounds of every instrument played. I love orchestral music and this album totally sets the bar high in being my favorite album of the year.

We are hoping that maybe in the near future a DVD will be released of all the videos they’ve made and listed up on their Youtube channel! And if you havent seen their videos, I encourage you to do so! The videos are simply stunning, uplifting, and inspirational, in my opinion. I did hear there was going to be a 2013 tour and PBS special featuring the Piano Guys! We can’t wait.

You can purchase The Piano Guys Album on Amazon.com for only $10.00 and it’s eligible for free super saving shipping. And if you are thinking about Christmas already, this album would make an excellent stocking stuffer!

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Disclaimer: I received a copy of this CD in order to view it and share my thoughts on it. All opinions are my own.

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Music & Giveaway Review: HULLABALOO: Raise a Ruckus

TOP 10 BEST CHILDREN’S CDs OF 2010: “As good as it gets when it comes to children’s music.”
– Parents magazine

Hullabaloo is farm-fresh, free-range, organic kid-folk in a genre filled with musical Twinkies and Ding-Dongs. Don’t get us wrong (and please don’t sue us Hostess Foods Inc.), Twinkies and Ding-Dongs are great (in small doses). But, after a while, you need something with a little more substance—something that won’t induce an insulin coma.

Here at Hullabaloo World Headquarters, we like to say “We’re putting the music back in kid’s music!” because, until recently, it’s been a pretty sad state of affairs. A lot of parents raised on rock’n’roll have a hard time down-shifting to singing dinosaurs and hamsters and, frankly, we don’t blame them.

We’re proud to be part of a growing number of artists that have found a way to honor and entertain kids without making their parents want to jump out of a moving mini-van.

Steve’s a folksinger and a songwriter and Brendan is a long-time rock’n’roll drummer so, you’ll hear traces of twang, funk, rock, folk and blues in our songs. We play the time-tested favorites we all grew up with and we write songs that make kids laugh, think, sing, dance, clap and stomp their feet.

Our Thoughts…

Parents get ready because Hullabaloo’s CD Raise a Ruckus will be out on September 4th! This is a children’s music CD that you shouldn’t be without. The engaging lyrics found on the album and the rich tunes won’t send adults running for the hills. And that is something to be totally desired when it comes to music for your kids!

Raise a Ruckus has great rhythm from beginning to the end of this twelve songs album. I really enjoy each and everyone of the songs on this album! The first song on the cd is called “My Eyes” which talks about seeing everything the world has to show us and hitting the ground running so as not to miss any bit of it!

There are some pretty silly songs on the album like “Green Beans” for example. My four year old daughter giggled and kept asking to hear that song over and over again! My son seems to really like “Raise a Ruckus”, a song that will always get him dancing! I personally love the song “Trash is My Treasure” about a Seagull that is a dumpster diver. It’s a really cute song that you’ll just have to hear for yourself!

I really enjoy how the songs all seem to tell a story and prompt kids to really think about what they are hearing! The upbeat tempo always gets my whole family in a great mood! My only disappointment (because we love the album so much) is that we wish there more songs to enjoy but I guess we’ll just have to wait for the bands next album!

Run time of Hullabaloo: Raise a Ruckus is about half an hour long so it’s great for a short car ride or an at home fun music time. This album is best suggested for children ages 6 and under. And it’s one that we highly recommend, especially if you like folk/country music!

Buy it: You can purchase Raise A Ruckus online at Amazon.com and at other retailers.

Get Connected: “Like” Hullabaloo on Facebook    www.facebook.com/pages/Hullabaloo/220028144692974 |

 

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Disclaimer: I was sent the above product mentioned for review. This review is 100% my opinion and has not been edited or reviewed by anyone. I was not compensated in any other way for this product review.

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Music Review & Giveaway: ‘LOVE IS A SUPERPOWER’ by BEN RUDNICK & FRIENDS


I’m excited to annouce that Ben Rudnick & Friends  will be releasing their tenth album on October 2, 2012! 

Love is a Superpower is Ben Rudnick & Friends at the very top of their game. The album blends the vivacious spontaneity and ebullient creativity of the band’s live shows with the intricately layered textures that are possible in a highly crafted studio recording. Add stellar contributions from guest artists like Antiguan master bassist M’talewa Thomas (Entrain, Greatful Dread), fiddler Kenny Kosek (James Taylor, Jerry Garcia, Willie Nelson), trombonist Jon Garniss (Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, The Four Tops), trumpet player Rick Hammett (Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, The Temptations), and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Bird (Cowboy Junkies) to the mix, and you have one remarkable CD with such sophisticated underpinning that repeat listening becomes an adventure.

Ben Rudnick & Friends take pleasure in introducing kids and families to music that reflects the many hues of our cultural fabric. On Love is a Superpower can be found music inspired by classic performances of ’70s soul and funk, The Beatles, The Allman Brothers, T. Rex, and The Grateful Dead, paired with an intelligent retrospective of earlier, thoroughly American musical styles that include traditional bluegrass and country and a particularly authentic salute to Bob Wills style western swing. The result: kids and grownups listening, learning, singing, and dancing together, sharing a sense of community fun.

Notes Ben Rudnick, “It’s amazing to realize that families are strengthening their bonds while they enjoy our tunes. Our new album has a loose theme of ‘Love.’ What do I want to express? I wish people would love each other more, trust a bit more, have more confidence and self worth, be generally happy, take care of the world a bit better, get a little silly, and like western swing. In my twelfth year of making music for families, I feel incredibly fortunate to get to play as many shows for as many people as I do and to have been able to make recordings galore. I want to be sure to say the things I want to say while I have the chance. Love is a superpower! Love each other!”

Ben Rudnick & Friends have been joyfully laying down the sound track of families having fun together since 2000. The band’s previous albums include Live in Lexington: Under the Copper Beech (2011), It’s Santa Claus! (2010), A Frog Named Sam (2009), The Challenger Baseball Song and Other Hits (2007), Grace’s Bell (2007), Live at the Playground: WERS 88.9 FM Boston (2005), Blast Off! (2004), Fun and Games (2002), and Emily Songs (2000).

Our Thoughts…

We’ve been enjoying listening to Love is a Super Power lately. This album is super kid friendly and imaginative! What clearly drew me to the album right off was the fantastic album cover art! It’s rich with color and the Heart shape on the front is filled with all sorts shapes and designs! The back of the album cover art list the tracks with another heart with rays of light coming from it. The art on the outside and inside completely reflects the mood of this album which is that Love is super!

Now the real test was to see if my children were fans of the album, and I’m pleased to say that they are. My kids are ages 4 years old and 1 and a half pointed out that they like the songs Where are the Dragons?, My Horse, Here Comes the Sun, & Scribbling. The tracks are silly, fun, and do a great  job of reaching people of all ages.

There are fourteen tracks total and the CD is roughly around 45 minutes long. I enjoy the different sounds in each of the song with everything from bluegrass to rock! After listening to this album, I’m not surprised at all that Ben Rudnick & Friends  were crowned with six Parents’ Choice Awards! They’ve totally won us over with their latest project and I am sure many other parents and kids would agree with me that this is an awesome CD!

Be sure to pick up your copy in October of Love is a Super Power by Ben Rudnick and Friends. SRP: $14.95

Get Connected:  www.benrudnick.com | |”Like” Ben Rudnick on Facebook   www.facebook.com/benrudnickandfriends |  Follow Ben Rudnick on Twitter     www.twitter.com/benrudnickkids

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Disclaimer: I was sent the above product mentioned for review. This review is 100% my opinion and has not been edited or reviewed by anyone. I was not compensated in any other way for this product review.

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