This album is targeted
at a specific audience - parents, grandparents, and their young charges.
It's essentially exactly what its title suggests; a collection of traditional
lullabies and cradle songs - the production is very elegant, and the result
is gentle and pleasing on the ear. Mayor excels as always on mandolin,
guitar, fiddle, whistle, mandocello (and more), whilst James' voice, guitar
and bass playing continue to delight.
Mayor and James have achieved acclaim for their significant contribution
to children's music education (especially through their series of 'Musical
Mystery Tour' CDs, and their regular school-based workshops and television/radio
productions), so the present recording is a natural extension of this
I hadn't heard some of these tunes before, though most are very widely
known - 'Lavender's Blue', 'Greig's Cradle Song', 'Dance To Your Daddy',
'Golden Slumbers', 'Raisins & Almonds', and the French lullaby 'Fais Dodo'.
The selections are from England, France, North America, Germany and Italy;
many are traditional, timeless songs, Grieg, Vivaldi and Schubert composed
I would certainly have been interested in purchasing this recording when
my own children were very young (it's soothing and beautiful to listen
to, and would surely calm a fractious child on long car journeys, at bedtime,
etc). It's an elegant alternative to those mass-produced, vastly inferior
children's music CDs on sale at your local branch of the Early Learning
Centre. Mayor and James continue to record high quality, crafted music
to be enjoyed by all age groups - I think the appeal of this recording
will be limited due to its likely audience, but then again you could say
that about most of the music reviewed by Living Tradition!