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Review: Putamayo Kids Presents Acoustic Dreamland

Various Artists
Acoustic Dreamland
[Putumayo Kids (2011)]

Lucy Kaplansky contributes the first track on Putamayo's new lullabies collection. (Photo by Craig Harris.)

If the 11 tracks on Acoustic Dreamland don’t lull you into sleep, their gentle, reassuring, dream-inspiring tone will definitely leave you, whether you’re a toddler or a senior citizen, relaxed and totally free of stress. Lucy Kaplansky, the best-known artist on the CD, gets things started with the Celtic-tinged “Dreamland,” featuring her soft-spoken vocals and finger-picked acoustic guitar harmonized by Irish fiddling and tin whistle. A variety of folk and children’s music artists keep the flow going with a calming mix of original tunes and delicately-interpreted covers of the Allman Brother’s “Blue Skies” (by Elizabeth Mitchell) and James Taylor’s “You Can Close Your Eyes” (by mental health therapist/folksinger William Fitzsimmons). As with past projects, Putumayo Kids searched far and wide in assembling this collection, coming up with a bumper crop of performers from Tibet (Kesang Marstand), Canada (Rick Scott), Kentucky (Daniel Martin Moore), Michigan (Rosie Thomas), San Francisco (Frances England), and the Pacific Northwest (Victor Johnson).

—Craig Harris (Chicopee, MA)

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