Audiences Will Enjoy Little Miss Ann’s New Album For 28 Days And More

Courtesy: Marsha Marsha Records

Family music entertainer and educator Little Miss Ann is scheduled to release her latest album Friday.  The album, 28 Days, is a 34-minute presentation that will appeal to audiences of any age.  That is due in part to the album’s varied musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly.  The album’s equally diverse lyrical themes add their own interest to its presentation and will be discussed a little later.  The sequencing of the album’s collective content rounds out the album’s most notable elements and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the record’s whole.  All things considered, they make the album a work that longtime and new audiences alike will enjoy.

28 Days, the latest album from family music entertainer and educator Little Miss Ann (a.k.a. Ann Torralba) is a presentation that audiences of all ages will find moderately appealing.  Additionally, it is a presentation that Torralba’s established and new audience base will find appealing.  That is due in part to the musical arrangements that are featured throughout the album’s 11-song body.  The whole thing opens with a light ukulele-based work in ‘We Go Together Very Well’ before dramatically changing course in the Buffalo Springfield-esque arrangement featured in ‘Marshmallow Man.’  ‘Good Luck,’ which follows that tune, comes across as a sea shanty style composition, changing things up yet again.  The stylistic changes do not stop there, either.  ‘Going Down the Road’ is a full-on country/bluegrass style composition.  The album’s title track, takes listeners back to that ukulele-based sound while also adding the slightest touch of soul to the mix to keep things interesting.  Torralba goes the neo-folk route from there in ‘Safe at Home.’  From that point on, the changes in the album’s arrangements continue to change from one to the next, generating plenty of engagement and entertainment, again, for a wide range of audiences.  The wide range of musical styles featured throughout 28 Days makes for a positive starting point for the album and is only a portion of what audiences will appreciate.  The equally diverse lyrical themes featured throughout the album are important in their own way to the record’s presentation.

The lyrical themes featured throughout 28 Days cover their own wide range from one to the next.  ‘Tuba’ for instance, is essentially a song that teaches a very basic lesson about some of the musicians who make up a band/orchestra.  As the title infers, the song opens by introducing listeners to the tuba and how it sounds.  From there, the drummer/percussionist and flautist are introduced before the attention turns to pianist and then the conductor.  The song is a wonderful way to start educating pre-school and kindergarten-age children to the world of music.  This should come as no surprise considering that Torralba’s day job is that of an educator.

‘Tuba’ is just one example of the diversity exhibited in this album’s lyrical content.  ‘Marshmallow Man,’ which features a guest appearance from Torralba’s fellow family music entertainer, Suzie Shelton, is an even simpler song that celebrates the joy of making s’mores over a campfire.  Considering that spring is here, temperatures are rising, and people are making their way to the nation’s campgrounds, the song is a fitting addition to this record.  Torralba and Shelton personify marshmallows as they sing about that joy of making the spring/summer favorite treat.  It is just one more example of the   diversity in the album’s lyrical themes, and is fun in its own way, too.

‘Stars on the Island,’ which closes out the album and features a guest appearance by Mil’s Trills, is yet another example of the variety in the album’s lyrical content.  This song is apparently a seasonal work of sorts that finds Torralba singing how Christmas is celebrated in Torralba’s home nation of the Philippines.  The song finds Torralba singing about gathering fish for celebrations across the nation, composed of dozens of islands and people on one side of the world looking up at the stars realizing that things are different from where he/she resides.  That theme, and the song’s light musical arrangement pair to make the song yet another important way in which the album shows its strengths.  When this song’s lyrical theme, the others noted here and the rest of its themes are considered together, the whole shows clearly, the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  When that engaging, entertaining, and diverse lyrical content is considered along with the album’s equally diverse musical content, the two sides join to give listeners even more to appreciate from this album.  Even with this in mind, the album’s content is only a portion of what makes 28 Days appealing.  The sequencing of the album’s content rounds out its most important elements.

The sequencing of 28 Days’ content is important because it clearly takes the diversity in the noted content into full consideration in its execution.  From one song to the next, neither the record’s musical nor its lyrical content stays the same or even for too long.  What’s more, the album’s sequencing balances the songs’ energies just as well.  The mid-tempo feeling of songs, such as ‘We Go Together Very Well’ and ‘Marshmallow Man’ are offset well through the more relaxed feeling of ‘Good Luck’ to open the album.  In the same vein, ‘Safe at Home,’ another of the album’s more relaxed works, serves as another good way to break things up again as the album progresses.  The same can be said of the African vibe of ‘Mojo’ established through the use of the sleigh bells and marimba.  Simply put, the songs’ energies rise and fall at just the right frequency throughout the album, ensuring listeners’ engagement in yet another way.  When this is considered along with the impact of the album’s content in general, the whole of these elements makes clear why this latest (fourth) album from Little Miss Ann another positive new offering.

Little Miss Ann’s latest album, 28 Days (her fourth album) is a presentation that will appeal equally to her established and new audiences will appreciate.  That is due in part to the album’s featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements vary in style from one to the next and will appeal to an even wider range of listeners because they are not just kindie-pop and pre-K style compositions.  The album’s lyrical content is just as diverse as its musical arrangements, covering topics from the silly to the serious from one to the next.  The sequencing of the album’s content puts the finishing touch to its presentation.  It ensures the content’s variety keeps listeners engaged and entertained through just as much as the energy in the arrangements.  Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, the noted elements make 28 Days a work that will appeal to audiences for 28 days and then some.  The album is scheduled for release Friday through Marsha Marsha Records.  More information on 28  Days is available along with all of Little Miss Ann’s latest news at:




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The Not-Its Are “It” In Phil’s Picks 2018 Top 10 New Family Music Albums List

Courtesy: Burnside Distribution/Sugar Mountain PR

Family music is one of the most surprisingly entertaining genres that exists today across the musical universe.  That statement is just as true today as it ever has been thanks to this year’s crop of new albums.  Between the arrangements, which will entertain listeners of all ages and the lyrical themes, to which young listeners especially will connect, family music albums prove that they are just as viable as those of their mainstream counterparts.

That is why this year, just as in years past, Phil’s Picks is making sure to give those albums their own time in the light.  This year’s list features new releases from acts such as Mister G, The Not-Its, The Okee Dokee Brothers and plenty of others who might not be so well-known.

Topping this year’s list is the new album from Seattle’s own The Not-Its.  As noted in a previous review of that album, it is a full-on celebration of childhood and the innocence connected to that time in life.

The Okee Dokee Brothers’ latest album Winterland was a risk for the duo because of the success of the group’s “adventure albums” that preceded the record.  Yet, it was a risk that proved to pay off thanks to its musical and lyrical content, which uses winter themes to delve into some very deep and very grown-up topics.

Cheri Magill’s new indie-pop styled record Tour Guide takes third place in this year’s list thanks to its arrangements and its own celebration of childhood (and even parenthood).

The records noted here are just part of this year’s list.  The other 12 records featured in the list are noted with these records below.  As always, the list features 15 total albums, with the Top 10 being the top albums and the following five being honorable mentions. without any further ado, here is Phil’s Picks’ 2018 Top 10 New Family Music Albums.


  1. The Not-Its — Ready or Not
  2. Cheri Magill — Tour Guide
  3. The Okee Dokee Brothers — Winterland
  4. Mister G — Fireflies
  5. Red Yarn — Red Yarn’s Old Barn
  6. Hullabaloo — 20 Songs in 20 Days
  7. Splash and Bubbles — Rhythms of the Reef
  8. Steve Elci and Friends — Jump in the Puddle
  9. Ants, Ants, Ants — Why, Why Why
  10. Mi Amigo Hamlet — Happy Land is Tierra Feliz
  11. Suzi Shelton — Hand in Hand
  12. Sara Lovell — Wild is Everywhere
  13. Animal Farm — We Are One
  14. Liz Beebe — Hush NowLullabies For Sleepy People
  15. The Green Orbs — thumb Wrestling Champions

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Listeners Of All Ages Will Clap Their Hands Together For Shelton’s ‘Hand In Hand’

Courtesy: Suzimusic, LLC

Early this month, family entertainer Suzi Shelton finally ended a nearly four-year wait for some new music when she released her new album Hand in Hand.  Her fourth full-length studio recording (her 2016 holiday covers record only boasts 5 songs, so it clearly is not a full album), this nine-song, 29-minute record succeeds in part because of its varied musical arrangements.  This will be discussed shortly.  The lyrical themes presented throughout the record are just as varied.  They will be discussed later.  The album’s sequencing puts the final touch to the album’s presentation.  When all three elements are joined, they make Hand in Hand a record that is sure to leave listeners joining their hands in united applause.

Suzi Shelton’s latest full-length studio recording Hand in Hand is another successful entry from the veteran family entertainer.  That is proven in part through the varied musical arrangements that make up the album’s body.  Case in point the juxtaposition of the pop-centered arrangement at the core of ‘Can You Feel The Power’ to the gentle, almost tropical vibe of ‘River Come Down.  The two songs present two wholly different genre specific sounds.  The same can be said of every other song on this record.  ‘Put Your Hands in the Air,’ the album’s opener, boast a certain pop sensibility that might conjure thoughts of certain Christian bands.  Of course that might be in part because of Shelton’s refrain of “make a joyful sound.”  Odds are she wasn’t going for a Christian comparison, but that line and the song’s musical arrangement together lead at least this critic to make that comparison.  That’s not a bad thing.  It’s just an observation.  The song’s lyrical content will be discussed later.  Staying on the topic at hand, Shelton doesn’t stick to that one style.  ‘Ladybugs’ is a fun, light-hearted bluesy piece that will appeal to listeners of any age.  The keyboard and ukulele at the center of ‘Never Let You Go’ is more kid-friendly, but still fun in its own right.  Much the same can be said of the arrangement at the center of ‘The Grass Is Always Greener.’  ‘Raindrop’ boasts a keyboard-centric arrangement that will easily appeal to any grown-up who grew up a fan of similar sounds from the 1980s.  Yes, Shelton even jumps back to the 80s in this album’s musical side.  ‘Blue Fin’ an n easygoing jazz arrangement that will appeal to the fans of that noted genre while ‘We Shall Walk’ – the album’s finale – goes back to the album’s more kid-friendly leanings.  Considering the constant change in the album’s musical arrangements, as shown here, it should be clear why the record’s arrangements are so critical to its presentation.  They offer music that while maybe not for everyone per se, will appeal easily to a wide range of audiences.  Keeping that in mind, it does more than enough to make the album worth hearing.  They collectively are only one way in which this record proves itself worth the listen.  The lyrical themes presented throughout the record vary just as much as its arrangements.

Since we ended with the record’s finale in discussing its musical arrangements, we will start there in the discussion of its lyrical themes.  Shelton has composed here, a song that focuses on the importance of community and unity.  It’s a statement that is easily accessible and thankfully doesn’t feel preachy, either.  She sings here that “we shall love/One another/Everyday/Deep in my soul/I dream/That we shall walk/Hand in hand/Everyday.  In a certain sense, it harkens back to the words of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as she sings about “no racism, no judging anymore”.  What’s really sad here is that this is a message that today’s adults need to hear just as much as children, as is evidenced on the news every single day.  ‘Can You Feel The Power’ is another positive piece in regards to its lyrical content.  This song is one that works to instill a sense of peace and love in her listeners.  She sings here, “It’s your choice/To be yourself/To  be great, to be fine/To grow from inside/Let’s go/Now is the time to spread your wings and reach up high for you/And the new generation of movers and shakers/Let’s stop with the haters/Be kind/Show all the world the greatest can start when you lead with your heart/Can you feel the power/The power that’s inside you/Let the power take you/Where you want to go.”  She goes on to sing about spreading love and hope while continuing to present her message of self-confidence.  It’s a wonderful message that again, adults could benefit from hearing just as much as children, which again is such a sad statement.  Adults shouldn’t need these reminders, yet apparently they do need said reminders, so kudos to Shelton again for presenting this message for every listener.  ‘The Grass Is Always Greener’ presents its own important message that once again, older listeners could benefit from hearing just as much as children.  That message is a reminder that we should be happy with who and where we are and not always want to be something and somewhere else.  That’s because…well…the grass isn’t always greener.  Shelton doesn’t go into a full on speech about that, but adults especially will understand.  That being the case, this song makes for a great starting point for a discussion between parents and kids about being happy with themselves.  Who knows, even adults might walk away from said discussion with some enlightenment of their own in the end.  It’s just one more way in which the album’s lyrical content proves to be just as important to its presentation as its musical arrangements.  While both elements are undeniably key to the album’s whole, they still are not its only important elements.  The record’s sequencing rounds out the most important of its elements.

The sequencing at the center of Hand in Hand is critical to note because it is just as important as the album’s songs and its lyrical themes in ensuring listeners’ engagement and entertainment as the album’s songs and lyrical themes.  From start to end, the album balances its energy just enough to in fact keep listeners engaged and entertained.  It starts gentle and flowing in ‘Put Your Hands in the Air’ before changing things up but still making them easy on the ears with ‘Ladybugs.’  The genres are totally different, yet both have a certain smooth vibe and energy that will definitely keep listeners’ ears.  ‘Can You Feel The Power’ continues that light energy, before the album eases off even more with the soft yet still happy ‘Never Let You Go.’  ‘The Grass Is Always Greener’ brings the energy levels back up a little bit without going too far in the process.  ‘Raindrop,’ with its 80s-keyboard infused sound pulls things back just a little bit again while ‘River Come Down’ changes things up again with its light tropical sound.  What’s interesting here is that the album’s energy stays stable through it all even here.  The light, jazzy arrangement of ‘Blue Fin’ continues the happy feeling established in ‘River Come Down’ before moving into the slightly more energetic album finale that is ‘We Shall Walk.’  What’s interesting here is the song feels almost like it wants to throw back to the days of the civil rights era with its overall approach.  That adds even more depth to that energy.  It has that vibe without being full-on like the songs that were made so famous from that era.  Rather, it is far lighter, but still boasts its own energy thanks to its horns, clapping, choruses and bass.  Keeping this in mind, and the obvious balance of energies present throughout the album, it should be clear why the sequencing of Hand in Hand is so important to its whole.  As with any album from any genre, without proper sequencing, it would be so easy to just skip through an album, and in turn perhaps miss certain high points.  Thanks to the time and thought put into this album’s sequencing though, it’s clear that listeners are far less likely to skip any of its songs.  To that end, the album’s sequencing proves just as pivotal (and positive here) as the album’s songs and their companion lyrical content.  When all three elements are considered together, they prove Hand in Hand to be a record that will leave listeners raising their hands in applause all together.

Suzi Shelton’s latest full-length studio recording Hand in Hand is another successful effort from the veteran family entertainer.  That is especially the case considering that four years have passed since the release of her last album, Smile in my Heart.  It boasts a variety of musical styles that in themselves are sure to keep listeners engaged.  The same can be said of its lyrical themes, which adults will hopefully take to heart just as much as their younger counterparts.  The album’s sequencing puts the finishing touch to its presentation.  Each element plays its own integral part to this record, as has been pointed out here.  All things considered, they make Hand in Hand, in the bigger picture, one more record to add to this year’s list of the top new family music albums.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on Hand in Hand is available online now along with all of Suzy Shelton’s latest news and more at:







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