You Are My Little Bird

You Are My Little Bird

4.4 12
by Elizabeth Mitchell
     
 

Rooted in tradition but with her own distinctive, breezy style, Elizabeth Mitchell offers a fresh, lively folk album that'll please little ones and their music-loving caregivers alike. As on her collaborative disc with Lisa Loeb, Catch the Moon, You Are My Little Bird focuses on the winsome sound of…  See more details below

Overview

Rooted in tradition but with her own distinctive, breezy style, Elizabeth Mitchell offers a fresh, lively folk album that'll please little ones and their music-loving caregivers alike. As on her collaborative disc with Lisa Loeb, Catch the Moon, You Are My Little Bird focuses on the winsome sound of Mitchell's voice, backed by acoustic instruments, hand percussion, and harmonies from friends and family including her husband Dan Littleton and young daughter Storey Littleton. True to the album's folksy nature -- and its release through the lauded Smithsonian Folkways label, home to Pete Seeger and Ella Jenkins -- the song list includes tunes by Seeger (the irresistibly sweet "Little Bird, Little Bird," plucked on a banjo) and Woody Guthrie (the spare yet lively "Who's My Pretty Baby," outfitted with a Bo Diddley beat). From there, Mitchell tries her voice at non-English tunes such as the Korean "Pom Na Tu Ri (Springtime Outing)" and the Spanish "Los Pollitos (The Little Chicks)," which she says in the extensive liner notes that she discovered on a Folkways album by Suni Paz. From there, the adventurous singer introduces young fans to Vashti Bunyan (the singsongy "Lily Pond"), the Velvet Underground (a gently pulsing "What Goes On"), Gillian Welch (the blues-tinged "Winter's Come and Gone"), and Bob Marley ("Three Little Birds," which incorporates just enough youthful voices to add color without being cloying). With its decades-spanning repertoire and homespun arrangements, You Are My Little Bird plays like a soundtrack to a Saturday afternoon at the Mitchell-Littleton house - which, by the sound of it, would be a pretty nice place to spend the day.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Most commercial children's music seems to be made under the assumption that youngsters are incapable of appreciating subtlety and need to be aurally slapped about the face with melodic and lyrical repetition in order to make sense of what they're hearing. Elizabeth Mitchell is an educator and musician who thankfully knows better; as the lead singer with Ida, she's been lending her lovely voice to folk-leaning indie rock for years, and in recent years she's been displaying the same intelligence and playful joie de vivre on a handful of recordings for children. You Are My Little Bird is Mitchell's third album for kids, recorded with help from Daniel Littleton (her husband and bandmate in Ida) as well as His Name Is Alive's Warren Defever, and it's a sweet, simple gem, as warm and joyous as a clear spring day. Mitchell's notion of what makes a children's song may be a bit different than those of most folks, since You Are My Little Bird includes covers of the Velvet Underground's "What Goes On" and Neil Young's "Little Wing," but there's an engaging simplicity and humanity to this music that should easily charm both kids and adults, and "Little Liza Jane," "Buckeye Jim" and "Grassy Grass Grass" are folk tunes that make perfect singalongs, regardless of the age of the audience. The arrangements on You Are My Little Bird are primarily acoustic and purposefully low-key, and they allow the melodies of these songs to shine through, and Mitchell's singing is elegant, unforced, and a thoroughly natural pleasure to behold. The quieter moments of this album are ideal for evening play or bedtime, and if you're looking for a disc that will soothe all members of the family during a long car ride, this album is just what you've been looking for. Some parents will doubtless find themselves borrowing You Are My Little Bird from their offspring to play for their own pleasure -- it's an album almost magical in its enchanting simplicity, and should be welcome listening even in homes without any little ones about.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/29/2006
Label:
Smithsonian Folkways
UPC:
0093074506325
catalogNumber:
45063
Rank:
9060

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Elizabeth Mitchell   Primary Artist,Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Vocals,Wurlitzer
John Sebastian   Harmonica,Autoharp
Warren Defever   Bass,Bass Guitar
Dan Littleton   Banjo,Guitar,Percussion,Drums,Harmonium,Hammond Organ,Viola,Vocals,Wurlitzer
Miggy Littleton   Percussion,Vocals
Jean Cook   Violin,Vocals
Charlotte "Coco" Constan   Vocals,Background Vocals
William "Boogie" Constan   Percussion,Vocals
Annika Enzien   Vocals,Background Vocals
Gabi Geujon   Vocals,Background Vocals
Kirsten Jacobson   Flute,Vocals
Hermina Littleton   Vocals
Athena Miros   Vocals,Background Vocals
Fenner Osmond Friedman   Vocals,Background Vocals
Daniel Littleton   Banjo,Guitar,Percussion,Drums,Harmonium,Viola,Vocals,Hammond B3
Storey Littleton   Guitar,Vocals

Technical Credits

Woody Guthrie   Composer
Happy Traum   Liner Notes
Bob Marley   Composer
Lou Reed   Composer
Neil Young   Composer
Warren Defever   Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Justin Guip   Engineer
Anthony Seeger   Liner Notes
Elizabeth Mitchell   Arranger,Producer,Audio Production,Song Notes
Gillian Welch   Composer
Micky Jones   Composer
David Rawlings   Composer
Ida Pearle   Artwork
Vashti   Composer
Mickey Jones   Composer
Tommy Brown   Composer
Hugh Musick   Liner Notes

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Customer Reviews

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You Are My Little Bird 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
as a parent, this album is very pleasant to listen to, and I find myself singing the tunes all day, even when it's not playing! The songs are simple, and basic enough for children to learn and sing along with, yet provacative enough for adults to enjoy. I play to get this album for all the parents of young ones on my Cristmas list.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I purchased this for my 2 year old daughters pre-school class for Christmas and all the children loved it they listened to it 3 times the first day. After the raving review from my little girl I bought her the same thing and she loves it and is already singing along. So sweet and cute. I love the music and recommend to all moms. Warning, you will sing along!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You can stand it, your big kid will like it and your toddler can learn the words. It also has a great cover or two that you'll recognize and songs from cultures around the globe. Good cd to have save for a road trip to surprise the kids into silence for a while.
tomatogirl More than 1 year ago
Wonderful choice of material, going beyond the typical and produced with a delightful simple tone that encourages everyone to join in the singing. It makes you smile over and over. Everyone, from toddlers through the grandparents, loves this recording.
EsMonna More than 1 year ago
We are huge Elizabeth Mitchell fans. I've been a fan since my 10 year old nephew was a baby. You don't need kids to enjoy her music, but having kids makes it that much better. Whenever our little one is hysterical in the car all we have to do is pop in You Are My Little Bird. Within seconds of recognizing the beat of Little Liza Jane she is calm. On a recent trip she became hysterical on the plane. All it took to calm her was a few verses of Little Liza Jane. I can't recommend this album (or any by Mitchell) enough.
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