***Putumayo Dreamland Series***

Having a 19-month old son means that I can factory test a lot of the kids' music that lands on my desk, including tunes for bedtime. Now, anytime a Putumayo product shows up in the mail I take it home and check it out immediately, because I know it's gonna be a winner. Putumayo Kids now have three lullabye CDs, Asian Dreamland, Celtic Dreamland, and the recently released African Dreamland, all three are well worth buying and I'll tell you why ...

African Dreamland (2008)

From the a cappella tunes "Nomathemba", "Agalilala", "Ikope Ye Tollo", and "Kula Bebe" by Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Samite, Las Hijas del Sol, and Bernadette Aningi & Anita Daulne, respectively; to the modern arrangements and production of Kaissa's "Lonon" and Tete Alhinho's "Sao Horas de Dormir", this is the warmest of the three Dreamland CDs. Rich voices, balafons, kalimbas and mbiras, koras, and marimbas ... these tunes are like a musical hug.

Celtic Dreamland (2007)

Traditional tunes from Scotland, Ireland, and eastern Canada, sung in English and Gaelic. Performed primarily on acoustic guitar, harp, or piano, these beautiful songs include traditional Celtic lullabyes and ballads, a few originals, and a couple of tunes inspired by the poetry Robert Burns. Listen especially to Lasairfhiona Ni Chonaola's "Casadh an tSugain", Mary Jane Lamond's "Cagaran Gaolach", Susan McKeown's "A Phluirin Mhilis", and "Ye Banks and Braes" by The Cast.

Asian Dreamland (2006)

This collection of lullabyes from Asia includes contributions from Japan, India, Tatarstan, Tibet, and China. The prettiest tune is the instrumental "Kokoro Ni Dakarete" by the Yoshida Brothers, a group famous for blending traditional Japanese instruments with modern music. In fact, most of the songs on this CD employ a mix of current and ancient styles, although Zulya's spare "Cradle Song", sung in the Tatar language, is beautifully authentic.

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