Monday, October 15, 2012

"Blue Clouds" by Elizabeth Mitchell CD Review...

"Over the course of six beautiful albums in nearly 15 years, Elizabeth Mitchell has invited listeners to join her, husband Daniel Littleton, their daughter Storey, and other friends and relatives to become part of an extended musical family. On Blue Clouds (out October 23), she raises her special kind of family-centric music to new heights by bringing clarity and beauty to a surprising range of songs. Breathing contemporary heart into traditional folk songs, and transforming classic rock songs by David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Van Morrison, and others into folk songs, Mitchell continues to grow that family of listeners with each album and concert. And while the family has grown, with well over 100,000 of her records bringing comfort and joy, Blue Clouds still makes Mitchell’s audience feel like they are part of a small picnic jam session.

The recordings on Blue Clouds are illuminated by elegant and simple arrangements, with acoustic guitars, harmoniums, banjos, pianos, fiddles, glockenspiels, and gentle drums and bass creating a soulful atmosphere for Mitchell’s clear and loving voice. The songs range from new compositions (“Rollin’ Baby,” “Arm in Arm”) to traditional tunes (“Hop Up, My Ladies,” “Froggie Went a-Courtin’”), to several unexpected covers. Mitchell looks to her childhood memories of 1970s radio on road trips in the family station wagon, and the resulting versions of “Kooks” by David Bowie, “May This Be Love” by Jimi Hendrix, “Blue Sky” by The Allman Brothers Band, “Everyone” by Van Morrison, and “I Wish You Well” by Bill Withers display Mitchell’s care in presenting popular material in a family music context.

Mitchell is also a founding member of the veteran indie rock band Ida and is one of Smithsonian Folkways’ best-selling artists alongside Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and Ella Jenkins. Her previous Smithsonian Folkways releases are Little Seed: Songs for Children by Woody Guthrie (2012), Sunny Day (2010), and You Are My Little Bird (2006). Starting with the album You Are My Flower, recorded in 1998 in a single afternoon as a gift for friends and family, Mitchell has developed into an accomplished artist with a devoted fan base and critical acclaim."

Selected family concerts with Elizabeth Mitchell and You Are My Flower"
October 21 - Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago
October 28 - Tricycle Music Festival, San Francisco
November 3 - Town Hall, Seattle
November 4 - Village Ballroom, Portland, OR
November 11 - Eddie's Attic, Decatur, GA
December 8 - One Longfellow Square, Portland, ME
December 15 - Symphony Space, NYC

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What we thought:  We love the cool, comfortable sounds of Elizabeth Mitchell.  Her music is uplifting and a lot of fun.  Most of her songs are mellow and perfect for creating a calm, light-hearted mood, which makes them great for the classroom!  The kiddos and I really enjoyed listening to "Blue Clouds":)  ABCD Diaries gives this CD an A+!

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.

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