“I love it… Handmade music filled with unexpected musical twists and turns. Soulful and sincere.”
– Dan Zanes
A founding member of the homespun indie-rock band Ida, Elizabeth Mitchell is also a former nursery school teacher – and now a mother,. Her second children’s CD is a gentle, intimate collection of classic children’s songs, Americana and even rock and roll and reggae, marked by spare, low-fi instrumentation, adorable vocal contributions from Mitchell’s little one, and the endearingly whispery voice of Mitchell herself. Her renditions of standards such as the title track and “Ladybug Picnic” are charming, but it’s her interpretations of rock-era nuggets like “Hey Bo Diddley” and the Tremeloes “Here Comes My Baby” that provide the album’s freshest delights. And you’ve never heard the alphabet sung quite the way Mitchell does it: a jaunty reggae arrangement with snippets of reggae gems (such as “Johnny Too Bad”) dropped in. You Are My Sunshine is as irresistible as it is undeniably cool.
– Family Fun Magazine, May 2003
“… You Are My Sunshine seves as a carefully crafted musical soundtrack for 21st century families, making adults reminiscent of days gone by while introducing children to the power of music.”
“On You Are My Sunshine, Elizabeth Mitchell’s voice, reminiscent of Rickie Lee Jones and Alison Krauss, sparkles with bluegrass-ballad finesse. Tender melodies, sprinkled with banjo, piano and guitar, will appeal to ears both big and small.”
– Mothering, March/April 2003
“From the cover art to her instrumentation and rootsy song selction, Elizabeth Mitchell’s You Are My Sunshine is a sweet album that never turns saccharin. What makes it a true delight is Mitchell’s beautiful voice, clear and pure as an Appalachian mountain stream. Beginning with the hand-clapping”So Glad I’m Here,” “Sunshine” includes the rocker “Hey Bo Diddley (teach your kids that Bo Diddley beat) and Roy Orbison’s rockabilly hit, “Ooby Dooby.” While Jamaican dance hall dub may seem out of place amid all the Americana, the “Alphabet Dub” mic of the ABC’s with “Johnny Too Bad” works well, offering a different bear. Traditional tunes like “Skip to My Lou,” “Goodnight Irene” and the title track – some sung with Mitchell’s husband, Daniel Littleton (they’re two-thirds of the band Ida) – are so beautifully rendered that you’re happy to hear them again – or for the very first time.”
- Billy Heller, NY Post
“Mitchell, a singer-guitarist (as a founding member of the folk-pop band Ida) and former nursery school teacher, releases her second family music recording. This time around, her honeyed, soothing voice and spare arrangements focus on the various styles of American roots and rhythm music. Mitchell’s mellow vibe infuses the traditional folk, early rock and country blues songs found here. Familiar tracks include such favorites as “Skip to My Lou,” “Froggy Went a Courtin,” “The Alphabet Song” and the title track. Occasional back-up vocals by children (on a rendition of Woody Guthrie’s “Car Car”) join piano, guitar, handclaps, drums, banjo and other suitable simple accompaniment throughout. Mitchell’s musician husband, Daniel, and young daughter, Storey, lend a hand too, giving this outing a true all-in-the-family spirit. All ages.”
- Publisher’s Weekly, 2/3/03, Starred Review.