‘THE COLORED PENCIL FACTORY’
"With a nine year track record of mixing authentic bluegrass, down-home humor, and original, progressive songwriting, NYC’s premier bluegrass band for all ages, Astrograss, pulls out all the stops with the October 16 release of their third CD, The Colored Pencil Factory (Smoggy Borough Records, $15.00, for all ages, run time 49 minutes).
Every song on The Colored Pencil Factory celebrates imagination and adventure with high energy and high enthusiasm in a blend of old-time Appalachian mountain music, traditional bluegrass, progressive bluegrass/newgrass, and even a bit of Eastern European folk music.
Two years in the making, The Colored Pencil Factory presents a living document in song, showing how a traditional art form like bluegrass can speak of the joys, dreams, and even the troubles of today's kids in a musical language saturated with cultural history. Notes Astrograss's Jordan Shapiro, "I believe that bluegrass music, and all American folk music, is essential listening for kids, and I also believe that the purity of the music is important. We made The Colored Pencil Factory without the use of any amplifiers, drums, pedals, or 'effects.' We recorded the album in our fiddle player's living room and played the songs just the way we'd play them at a park or in a kitchen. It's pure, organic, natural Americana."
In addition to engaging settings of traditional tunes like "Shortenin' Bread," "Cluck Old Hen," and "Sail Away Ladies," the album showcases a collection of new songs by the team of Jordan Shapiro and Joe Grossman. Shapiro and Grossman have been writing together since 1995, and their musical collaboration over the past 17 years has received accolades at venues ranging from off-Broadway theaters to bluegrass music festivals."
What we thought: We love Astrograss! "The Colored Pencil Factory" is a fantastic CD full of upbeat tunes and catchy lyrics. The kiddos loved this CD and so did I:) The music is authentic and we love that it's all acoustic. Another great addition to our children's music library! ABCD Diaries gives "The Colored Pencil Factory" an A+!
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Disclosure: ABCD Diaries was given a copy of this CD for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.