Almost Grown

Anne Dodson

Beech Hill Music
PO Box 14
Camden, Maine 04843

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Cynthia A. Harney

If there's a child in your life, you owe it to them (and yourself) to get Anne Dodson's Almost Grown. In the words of my 7-year-old niece, Emily Rose Monti: "Anne Dodson- fun for kids and adults. All different kinds of fun and music. fun for everyone." Almost Grown has sing-alongs and rounds, a cappellas and instrumentals, traditional, contemporary and original tunes, and nonsense songs and lullabies- most collected and taught on Dodson's travels throughout Scotland, England, Russia, and the U.S. Anne is joined on Almost Grown by numerous performers (including the "amazing" 5th Grade Chorus of Asa Adams Elementary, Orono, ME) who add oodles of instruments and voices to these amusing and enlightening tunes. This album truly is "...for kids and their adults."

Dodson begins Almost Grown with a true story written by her brother, David. The Woodchuck Song tells the tale of David's compassionate though frustrating encounter with a woodchuck. You'll be singing along before the second verse. Gordon Bok adds the deep, husky voice of Buffalo Boy while it took Anne, Bill Wheeler, Matt Szostak, Suzy Williams, and Sonny True to recreate All the Clumsy Animals that are "keeping me awake!" Mixed in among the traditional and the nonsense are Something Told the Wild Geese and Waiting for the Lark, a tune born with the gentleness of a lullaby, yet set in early morning. Be careful with this one- your first impression might be that it's the child's mother awaiting the break of dawn.

Dodson's selections include:
  • Woodchuck Song
  • The Duchess at Tea
  • Buffalo Boy
  • All the Clumsy Animals
  • Benjy
  • Waiting for the Lark
  • Kennebunkport
  • Lady Jane Medley
  • The Coffeepot Song
  • Forgotten Apples
  • Something Told the Wild Geese
  • Good Fish Chowder
  • Never Have a Bath
  • Kyle's Arrival
  • Lions
  • Bird Seed
  • Taladh (a Scots Gaelic lullaby with the translation in the liner notes)
  • Priggish Tom & Piddily Pie.
Anne and her guests play guitars, cello, Bokwhistle, trombone, hurdy-gurdy, fiddle, bass, violin, mandolin, cittern, mountain dulcimer, and cellamba. It's a great introduction (for any aged child) to these customary and unusual instruments and songs.

Anne ends Almost Grown with her original, Priggish Tom & Piddily Pie (with her mother joining the chorus). Here she asks us all to sing and dance with "glorious notes" and "glorious steps" with a lovely reminder that "It won't matter years from now if you once sang off key."

Almost Grown is distributed by Camsco (800-548-3655), Silo (802-244-5178), Old Fogey (517-372-7888), and Outer Green (207-743-7929) or directly from Beech Hill Music, Camden, Maine (207-236-9576).

Edited by Kerry Dexter

Copyright 1997, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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