Smithsonian Folkways Recordings is the nonprofit label for the Smithsonian Institute, the national museum of the United States. Folkways was founded by Moses Asch and Marian Distler in NYC in 1948 to document “people’s music.”
Listen to our conversation with Guy Raz from All Things Considered Weekend Edition here. Even though I was super nervous, we had such a good time talking with Guy. You can hear us sing Lovely Day, live!
Listen to our interview with Melissa Block on All Things Considered here.
An interview with Woodstock’s Maverick Concerts, America’s oldest continuous summer chamber music festival here. We have been so honored to perform at Maverick, and here we talk about Maverick’s legacy, our own personal ties to Woodstock and more.
We talk with the Walker about childhood, creativity, and life on the road. Read here.
In February 2007 we travelled to Chicago to record this podcast with Children’s Music legend Ella Jenkins, at the Old Town School of Folk Music for the Land of Nod podcast series. We sing sings together and learn a lot from Ella!
Love, Hallie was founded by Sofia and Ted Geier when their beloved eleven year old daughter died in 2004. To honor Hallie’s profound spirit of compassion and humanitarianism, LOVE, HALLIE encourages kindness, respect and positive action among young people, and does committed work to raise funds and awareness to fight the AIDS pandemic in sub-Sharan Africa. I came to know the Geier family during my time teaching on Roosevelt Island and I consider myself incredibly fortunate to be a part of their world. They are truly doing amazing things.
An international youth organization that empowers young people through representation, leadership and action.
I discovered the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood in 2006 when I attended a conference they were holding in Boston. Raffi Cavoukian was giving a presentation about his book “Child Honoring” that I had wanted to hear. I was blown away by what I learned from the CCFC and am so grateful for the work they are doing to, in their own words, “reclaim childhood from corporate marketers.” Please visit their site and learn about their vital work.
I can’t say it better than this: “Future of Music Coalition is a national nonprofit organization that works to ensure a diverse musical culture where artists flourish, are compensated fairly for their work, and where fans can find the music they want.” Founded by our old friend Jenny Toomey and recently lead by our violinist Jean Cook, the FMC is at the front line in fighting for the rights of musicians and music lovers around the globe.
My Sister’s incredible waste-free, sustainable and ultimate food safe lunch box. Saving the world, one lunch box at a time. Check it out, Storey loves hers!!!
Handmade goodness from all around the world. I LOVE ETSY.
Amanda Soule, writer of the much loved blog “Soulemama.com” – my favorite blog- has two books about family and creativity. Amanda’s writing is a crucial, daily inspiration for me. She wrote the liner notes for “Sunny Day” and we couldn’t be more grateful.
Learn to make an adorable elephant with “make your own toys!” Written by our old friend and sometimes accordion player, Sue Havens.
A collection of family folk songs performed by various Hudson Valley musicians, including Elizabeth Mitchell, Dog on Fleas, Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, and Medeski Martin and Wood to benefit High Meadow Arts, a nonprofit educational arts organization.
Personally compiled by Dan Zanes, all net proceeds from the sale of this CD will go to the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children to benefit children and families in crisis. We are so honored to be on this record, along with the Seegers, Dan Zanes, Jerry Garcia and more!!! Highly recommended!
My friend Scott Eirenberg, founder of The Land of Nod, a lovely children’s furniture company, is a serious music lover and he has created these two compilations. Storey and I really enjoy Volume 1! We just got Volume 2 in the mail, and I’m sure a good time awaits.
We have songs on four Putamayo compilations – “Folk Playground” “Sing Along with Putamayo” “American Folk” and “Acoustic Dreamland”
“Many Hands” is a compilation produced by Dean Jones of Dog on Fleas and released by Bill Childs of Sparetherock.com, to benefit the Haitian People’s Support Project, a Woodstock organization that has been working in Haiti for over 20 years. The album features recordings by Pete Seeger, Dan Zanes, Frances England, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo and more. “Many Hands” was voted best children’s album of 2010 by the critics of Amazon.com.
Levon Helm is one of the greatest living drummers and a true originator of American roots music. His voice is one of the single most recognizable in all of rock’n roll. He is a national treasure and a true hero of ours. You can hear him play in his own barn, its true, do it, its worth the trip! Come to a midnight ramble, and you can even talk to his dog, Muddy! Levon joins us for three songs on our album “Sunny Day.” Playing with Levon is a profound honor AND complete joy. Our gratitude is immense!!!
Dan Zanes blows my mind. How does he do it? I think he secretly has 6 or 7 extra hours in his day somehow. I don’t know. I’m still trying to figure it out. In the meantime, I’m going to sing along to “Welcome Table” again, or maybe “Que Fortunidad” or “Shining Star” or…
We played a family jamboree with Brady in the freezing, pouring rain and I loved every minute of it. He (and his music, and his family…) is that much fun.
These are my cherished friends and neighbors. The fleas are so much better with words than I am, so I am going to let them tell you: “Dog on Fleas plays honest, loose, ingenius music for kids and their adult counterparts. Their recipe: mix equal parts Cab Calloway and Woody Guthrie. Add a pinch of Spike Jones, NRBQ, and Sun Ra. Top with a sauce of calypso, cajun, highlife and reggae. Stir with Ringo’s drum-stick. Brigitte Bardot will serve from John Cage’s hat.”
Happy Traum is a legendary figure in North American folk music. He and his brother Artie cast a long, peaceful shadow across the Catskills, with their virtuosic mastery of folk, blues, and old time guitar playing. Happy and his wife Jane founded Homespun Tapes, a company that produces music instruction videos, DVDs and streams online including Autoharp with Mike Seeger and blues guitar with Hubert Sumlin!! Happy wrote and essay in the liner notes of “You Are My Little Bird.”
John is so friendly and makes you feel so comfortable and at home in his presence, that you almost forget that he wrote so many memorable hit songs, played with The Lovin Spoonful, Dylan, Fred Neil, Tim Hardin and countless others. John is as unbelievable musician and these days plays autoharp and harmonica in a jug band called The J Band. John plays autoharp and harmonica on “You Are My Little Bird”
My band. I love my band.
Hayes Greenfield is one of the best live performers for children I have ever seen. If he is ever performing anywhere near you go and listen you will be grateful. Your children will leave humming a beautiful melody, telling you the difference between Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young, and feeling the raucous and joyful spirit of Albert Ayler and of Hayes, a jazz great himself.
Karla Schickele, Ida member, founded this organization for girls and women who want to learn how to play an instrument, write songs, start bands, and feel the power of rock and roll.
Our new friend Chris Ballew, from the band The Presidents of the United States of America- has an cool new children’s music project. We are big big fans! And we were very fortunate to sing on the song “Dark of Night” on his new album “This is Fun!”
Frances England writes lovely, thoughtful and fun songs for kids and families that Storey and I sing a lot. Our favorites right now are “High on the Mountainside” and “To Be.” We love Frances and her music!!!
Grendadilla is an amazing band of five incredible women singing lovingly and joyfully to you. Beautiful melodies, inspiring lyrics and a South African lilt to it all- what could be better than that?! And they are our neighbors, teachers, and friends. We are so lucky to know them.
Nancy Chusid is so many things to us. Storey’s piano and recorder teacher, the leader of the Woodstock Children’s Chorus, of which Storey is a member, studio and live oboe and bass clarinet player, member of You Are My Flower always a source of inspiration for us. She also leads “Byrdsong” an adult chorus, and makes many musical things happen in the Hudson Valley and beyond.
The Good Ms Padgett is my sister-in-law, Anna Padgett, singing sweetly, hilariously, creatively and truthfully about life with a baby. If you can handle the truth, you will love this album! The melodies are lovely, the songwriting is both tender and clever, and there are many surprises in store. I think the main character in “I am not an Octopus” deserves it’s own musical theater production. And “Rollin Baby” is one of my favorite songs, ever. When we were traveling in Japan, I walked around many shrines and historic sites singing to myself in my head “fifi clap, fifi clap fifi clap fifi clap” and “i’m a little baby who looks good in hats.” We love the Good Ms Padgett!!!
Jon Langford. Um, what? He sang on MY record? Really? Are you sure you aren’t talking to the cooler person behind me? Really, me? Oops sorry I just fainted. Okay, let’s try this again. Jon Langford is an artist, writer and musician. He is a founding member of the UK punk band The Mekons. Jon is now based in Chicago and is a solo recording artist and a collaborator to many. He is also a visual artist, his book ”Nashville Radio” -a collection of paintings and writings about Country Music icons- is essential to anyone interested in the history of American music. I still can’t believe he sang a duet with me! Thank you Jon!!!
Ella Jenkins is the godmother of Children’s Music. She signed to Folkways in 1957 and has not stopped making timeless and honest children’s music since. Respect!!! For a full description of our thoughts on Ella, see the Nodcast Podcast link above.
The artist who created the extraordinary artwork for “You Are Mu Little Bird” and “Sunny Day.” Ida’s work is magical, tender, inspiring. You can order her lovely alphabet series, a vert stylish tote bag, birth announcements and more form her site.
Hugh Musick is an artist based in Chicago. He is an endless stream of inspiration and dedication to his community, his reach is deep and wide. Hugh wrote an essay in the liner notes for “You Are My Little Bird.”
Laura is our neighbor, the fabulous proprietor of Phoenicia NY’s “Mystery Spot” a fantastic children’s book illustrator, and a retired Rock and Roll photographer. I fyou want to see the most heartbreakingly beautiful picture of John Doe and Exene, or Joey Ramone in front of his refrigerator, Tina Weymouth and Grandmaster Flash with boomboxes in 1982, or Bjork naked and tasting a raindrop, check out Laura’s online gallery, then order a print for your next birthday. Laura secretly came out of retirement for 20 minutes a few summers ago to take pictures of us in her backyard!