Another extraordinarily happy-making album has crossed my path, so I feel it’s my duty to spread the joy. Putumayo’s newest release, Picnic Playground is a giant smile in CD form. I hope that many of you are familiar with Putumayo, and their extensive canon of world music for both adults and kids. If you’re not, it’s time to get to your local public library (perhaps the Davenport Public Library!) and check some out. Here’s the scoop on Putumayo:
According to their website, Putumayo World Music was established in 1993, and is “known primarily for its upbeat and melodic compilations of great international music characterized by the company’s motto: “guaranteed to make you feel good!”” I have yet to listen to a Putumayo album that disappointed. They are quite true to their motto — if I’m feeling crummy or low-down, popping on a Putumayo disc is virtually guaranteed to turn things around.
Picnic Playground was released in July 2009 and is dedicated to all things food. True to its subtitle “Musical Treats from Around the World,” this album is packed with gems in a multitude of languages and musical styles. From the old-time groove of Pascal Parisot’s hilarious song “Mes Parents Sont Bio” (a child bemoaning his parents’ organic ways, when he just wants a hamburger) to the Cuban dance number honoring “Bolitas de Arroz con Pollo” to the funky update of the folk tune “Pick a Bale of Cotton” that celebrates the glory of a “Bowl of Cherries,” the songs here are diverse, upbeat, and eminently danceable.
Here’s a video of Rhythm Child rocking out to “Bowl of Cherries”:
If you’re looking for some sunny tunes to get you and your kids through the gloom of mid-Winter, check out Picnic Playground — or really any Putumayo Kids album. They’ll make ya feel good!
And all you Putumayo fans out there — currently if you buy a copy of either their adult CD French Caribbean or their children’s CD Caribbean Playground, Putumayo will donate 100% of the proceeds to the Red Cross efforts in Haiti. 100%!! That’s 100% awesome in my book.