Friday, August 01, 2008

***Nat Hussey***

This is one of those gems that just comes out of nowhere. Not literally, but Matinicus Island in Penobscot Bay, Maine, is gettin' pretty close to the outskirts of nowhere. Nat Hussey's 2005 CD Papa Goose: Nursery Rhymes Fresh from Maine is as timeless as anything on Smithsonian's Folkways label, yet the arrangements are freshly contemporary.

Hussey has been recording and releasing music on his own since 1997, and, as with his grownup albums, Papa Goose (his first CD for kids) is based on everyday life in Maine. Some of these quiet, fingerpicking-style songs are so similar to James Taylor's classic sound, I'm surprised JT hasn't commissioned Hussey to write a few tunes for him.

Hussey's originals mix well with the folk tunes he chose to perform on Papa Goose, and the very Maine-centric, fun songs like "Critters Going Home," "I'm So Hungry!" and "Magic Rock (Maine Island Song)" are sure to grab yer kids' ears right away. "Sweep Away" sounds like a forgotten Paul Simon tune, and "The Seasons Change, Here in Maine" would be right at home on a James Taylor greatest hits album. Papa Goose is a beautiful, intimate, unforgettable CD for the whole family.

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