Country Blues For Kids
Raffi meets Leadbelly. Kid blues standards and originals that bounce in the country blues style of Rev. Gary Davis, Mississippi John Hurt and Leadbelly. Parents' Choice Silver award winner
Parent's Choice Silver Award Winner Summer 2004 Best new artist and Best Recording ages 3-5 yrs. Children's Music Web 2004 CD Baby Editor's Choice 12-03
Kids who have never heard of Leadbelly or Mississippi John Hurt will be getting thier first taste of an important piece of their musical heritage when they encounter this album. They won't know that, however, because they'll be having too much fun listening and singing along. Many of the thirteen songs in this up-tempo collection of blues tunes will be familliar to most adults and many children. Some are traditional: "Frog Went a Courting," "Wheels on the Bus," and "Old Macdonald." Some notably "Baby Beluga"-are more closely associated with other performers. Two are original: "Mrs. Butterworth," (think syrup) and "Everything is Gonna Be Allright" a lighter-than-air ditty that is as comforting as a blankie at bedtime. Johnson's smoky voice is accompanied by simple strummed, plucked, and patted guitar riffs. In a world of electronically produced music, the sound of fingers on strings makes listening to this album a truly intimate experience. Kristi Jemtegaard ©2004 Parents' Choice
"Accomplished bluesman Victor Johnson brings an air of authority to a baker's dozen of songs on CBFK... in a rough charming voice, adeptly accompanying himself on acoustic guitar." Nick Jr. Family Magazine
Roots Music For Kids! Can you dig it?
Victor takes traditional roots music, gives it new twists and creates some of the hippest coolest kid's tunes around. Music for kids that the whole family will like in concert or in the car. Victor is not your typical folk guy with a guitar singing simple songs for children. Victor is more like a big kid at heart with some serious guitar chops who loves to make music and share.
Country Blues For Kids is the newest release by Victor and has created international interest. "Country blues is perfect for kids because it grooves and bounces. It will have your feet tapping and your knee bouncing in no time"
Honoring the blues traditions of Mississippi John Hurt, Rev. Gary Davis, Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie, Victor gives a nod of respect to the old masters and adds some new twists that will have kids singing and dancing along. Country Blues For Kids has been listed on the coveted CD Baby home page and is one of their editor's top picks for childrens music. Country Blues for Kids has been featured in Nick Jr. family magazine, Parenting and Blue Revue magazine. Twelve great songs and a wonderful talking blues version of the tale of the Gingerbread man make country blues available to whole new generations of children and their families.
Victor is an Oregon native hailing from the Columbia River Gorge and is affiliated with Cascade Blues Association' Blues in Schools program. Victor represented the CBA in Memphis for the International Blues Challenge in 2004 in the solo acoustic category. The challenge is put on by the blues foundation who also present the W.C Handy awards. It is known as the most prestigious blues talent search in the world. Victor has appeared with such national acts as Bruce Cockburn, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Rory Block, Moe Dixon, Terry Robb and performed at many music festivals in the Pacific Norhwest including the pretigious Waterfront Blues Festival in 2002 and 2003
Article by Mark Gibson "The Dalles Chronicle" 12/10/03 reprinted with permission.
As any parent will testify, really good children books are hard to find. There are plenty of fine books out there for kids, but only a few stand the acid test of endless repetition children books are submitted to. A badly written one becomes excruciatingly painful to read after it has been requested 10 or 20 times.
Music for children is even harder to find, and even more painful to listen to repeatedly. Most inspire weary parents to purchase headphones and require their use. The rare recording that can be enjoyed wholeheartedly by parents and children alike is rare and quickly becomes a family treasure. Victor Johnson's recently released "Country Blues for Kids" is one of those rare jewels.Having previewed most of the CD at work, I snuck it into the home player and pressed play. The bouncy, country blues playing of the first song, "Frog went a courtin," instantly worked its magic. Within five seconds, my six year old son had abandoned his toys and was hovering over the speaker. The recording features a variety of traditional country blues songs originated by artists like Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, Rev. Gary Davis, Blind Blake and Mississippi John Hurt.
The CD features a single acoustic guitar and vocal. Nothing more is needed; playing with his fingers and thumb, Johnson's guitar maintains strong, bouncy rhythm accompanied by delicate melodies. Songs like "Green Corn," "Candyman blues," "Baby Beluga," "Wheels on the bus" and "You are my Sunshine" blossom with this approach to the guitar. Johnson's rich vocals are cream on a very delightful cake. He has definitely found his voice on this recording.
Even such a challenging kids song as "Old MacDonald," a song loved by every child and hated by anyone over 11, is worth hearing as it is introduced to yet another generation. The wonderful song "Fishing blues" is destined to become a personal favorite. Of the thirteen songs on the album, only two, "Old Macdonald" and the talking blues "Tale of the gingerbread man," are in the kids only category. Adults will find plenty of favorites here. Fans of Victor Johnson, young and old alike, will find another jewel on this album, Johnson's original "Everything is gonna be all right." This one song is well worth purchasing the entire disk: "Go to sleep my little one, your tired, the day is done, everything will be all right. Every little thing is all right. "Take you on a moonlight ride, I'll show you where the fairies hide, everything will be all right. Every little thing is all right. "Your daddies right here, your momma ain't far, I'll help you find that wishing star..." Beautifully melodic, lyrically wonderful, this is Johnson's finest work to date as a singer/songwriter. The album, recorded in Johnson's living room, is nicely packaged as well.The album art, by Brook Burnett and Rory Johnson, is perfectly suited to the album's concept and feel. It features classic, lighthearted country images in bold, primary colors. Victor Johnson's "Country Blues for Kids" is a wonderful stocking stuffer for kids on anyone's Christmas list, and will cheer all of us jaded adults suffering from the Winter doldrums.
Frog Went a Courtin' 4:090:00/4:09
Candyman Blues 1:580:00/1:58
Mrs. Butterworth 1:300:00/1:30
Green Corn 2:160:00/2:16
Fishin' Blues 2:200:00/2:20
Wheels On the Bus 3:260:00/3:26
You Are My Sunshine 2:170:00/2:17
Baby Beluga 2:070:00/2:07
Old Macdonald 2:360:00/2:36