I Love to Ride My Bike
Review: 'The earthworms have gone underground/The ladybugs don't make a sound./I've got one on my hand and she's not afraid/I'll just sing to her while I sit here in the shade.' The first track on guitarist Jamie Barnett's album, 'In the Shade,' an evocative celebration of late summer, sets the tone for this open-hearted and beautifully crafted observance of childhood's memory-making simple pleasures. 'Two Frogs' is a guitar-strumming ode to friendship, while in 'Nursery Medley,' Barnett weaves familiar nursery rhymes into an exquisite musical tapestry. He uses 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears' as inspiration for a delightful 'Walk in the Woods,' and 'Jack and the Beanstalk' becomes 'Magic Beans,' a lovely tale of a little boy's journey toward independence ('I'll tell my mother what I see/I'll show my mother/Just how brave a boy can be.' ) Barnett's deeply felt vocals are further enhanced by the earnest sweetness of child singers who chime in throughout. Lynne Heffley ©2003 Parents' Choice I grew up in a house filled with music. Certainly some of the music came from records but most of it came from our mouths. My mother sang while she washed dishes. When she didn't know all the words she made some up. She could whistle with the sweetest vibrato. My father showed us harmony and it was magic. With seven kids in the family, it was hard to find a note in the chord that wasn't taken. We sang in the kitchen while clearing the table and in the car on long trips. The best place to sing in our house was in the stairway. We had to squeeze but the sound was fantastic. We sang Mama's and Papa's, Beatles, CSN&Y, and songs from musicals and rock operas. As we got older there were assortments of rock bands and someone was always singing in church. Music isn't just for listening; it is something to do together, something to share. Whether in a bar, a classroom, a church, or the stairway, music can bring people together in a way that few activities can. As a teacher I can see that, in many families, music has become more of a product than an activity. The songs on this CD beg you to sing along. The words and melodies belong to the listener. Children bounce outside to play still singing their favorite parts of the songs. That is the most gratifying part of this experience for me. I am told by one mother that her 2 month old daughter becomes visibly excited when she hears the beginning of 'In the Shade.' I am told by another family that same song is the favorite of the grandfather. The thought that a song can connect people across three generations is exciting to me. What is going on in my life now? My wife Kathryn and I have three sons. Our oldest son Sean is 24. He graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston and is now living making music in San Francisco. Nicolas (19) plays the baritone horn and studies music at the University of Texas in Austin. Lucas (14) is in ninth grade. He plays football and rides his unicycle (not at the same time). Kathryn and I teach kindergarten in our home town of Murrieta, California. Opportunities to sing with my brothers and sisters occur rarely now but the sound is still home to me.