On July 10, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings released Elizabeth Mitchell’s Little Seed: Songs for Children by Woody Guthrie, featuring re-imagined renditions of 13 kid-friendly Guthrie classics.
The only album of Guthrie’s children’s songs coinciding with the Woody Guthrie Centennial, ‘Little Seed’ pays tribute to the legendary songwriter’s uncanny ability to inhabit both the perspective of a loving, protective parent and the voice of a freewheeling child. The album includes thoughtful versions of children’s songs “Riding in My Car,” “Grassy Grass Grass,” and “Bling Blang.” Mitchell also shares her version of “This Land Is Your Land,” Guthrie’s signature song that many people consider a second national anthem.
As always, she is joined on the recording by family (husband Daniel Littleton and daughter Storey) and friends, including Amy Helm, daughter of the late Levon Helm, pillars of the American acoustic music scene Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, and Ruthy Ungar of Mike and Ruthy and formerly of the Mammals.
“Woody Guthrie’s songs for children are a gift to all of us. They are a part of me, part of my family,” says Mitchell. “Thank you, Woody, for giving us this beautiful experience and so many others like it. We can feel this profound musical joy anytime, anywhere, with you in our spirits and your songs in our hearts.”
Acclaimed by Time magazine as one of the “Stars of Kindie Rock,” Mitchell is also a founding member of veteran indie rock band Ida and is one of Smithsonian Folkways’ best-selling artists. ‘Little Seed’ is her third album with the label, following You Are My Little Bird (2006) and Sunny Day (2010), and features eight newly recorded tracks and five previously issued favorites.
As soon as I saw “This Land is Your Land” I knew I had to check out this CD! I have to admit, I didn’t know that Woody Guthrie wrote “This Land is Your Land” and after listening to the other 12 tracks, I have completely fallen in love with his songs! I recognized a couple of others…”Why Oh Why?” and “Bling Blang”. Elizabeth Mitchell did fantastic renditions of these well loved classics. Her voice is smooth, soothing and definitely helps my kids settle down when they are wound up! My girls love listening to this album while they are getting ready for bed and sometimes while they are getting ready in the morning. Their favorite is also “This Land is Your Land”, probably since they learned it in school last year and were excited to hear a new version! I would recommend this amazing album to any family who enjoys listening to music! Here is the complete track list:
1. riding in my car
2. bling blang
3. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
4. why, oh why?
5. sleep eye
6. who’s my pretty baby?
7. rattle my rattle
8. this land is your land
10. one day old
11. little sugar
12. grassy grass grass
13. little seed
Elizabeth Mitchell’s Little Seed can be purchased on Amazon and retails for $10.88. It is a fantastic album for children and adults of all ages!
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Disclosure: I received Elizabeth Mitchell’s Little Seed: Songs for Children by Woody Guthrie in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated in any other manner. The opinions expressed above are my own and any claims should be verified on the sponsor’s site.