Audio Mixers: Chris Edwards; Daniel Littleton; Warren Defever; Justin Guip.
Liner Note Author: Elizabeth Mitchell.
Recording information: Airshow Mastering, Takoma Park, MD; Levon Helm Studios, Woodstock, NY; Me Sound, Mount Tremper; Woodstock, NY.
Photographer: Sibila Savage.
Arriving just three months after the compilation Little Seed: Songs for Children by Woody Guthrie, Blue Clouds, the sixth outing from singer/songwriter Elizabeth Mitchell, gleefully continues the founding member of New York-based indie rockers Ida's chalk-lined, hopscotch path to children's folk royalty. On Blue Clouds, Mitchell once again proves that family music needn't be earworm-heavy and cloying by breathing new life into traditional folk songs like "Froggie Went A-Courtin" and "Summer Is Icumen In," offering up smart, sweet originals like "Arm in Arm" and "Rollin' Baby," and incorporating familial '70s pop songs like David Bowie's "Kooks," Van Morrison's "Everyone," Jimi Hendrix's "May This Be Love," and Bill Withers' "I Wish You Well" (she even tapped into the Allman Brothers Band's back catalog for the amiable title cut) into the mix, resulting in what is easily one of the more likeable and listenable collections of tunes for tots to be released in some time. Backed by her extended musical family (You Are My Flower), which includes her husband Daniel Littleton, daughter Storey, and a small army of musical friends armed with everything from harmoniums and fiddles to banjos and glockenspiels, Mitchell and her band of urban merrymakers have once again taken the cookie cutters out of corporate kid pop's grubby little hands and created something that celebrates the boundless warmth and creativity of youth instead of attempting to capitalize on its cartoon product tie-in-induced and short attention span, which should please parents to no end. ~ James Christopher Monger