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American Lullaby (CD, Ellipsis Arts) V. A.
Ellipsis Arts’ American Lullaby features renditions of traditional bedtime songs by a host of country, world, folk, jazz, and bluegrass artists, including Maria Muldaur, Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, and Beth Nielsen Chapman. Not surprisingly, this makes for a sweetly eclectic collection, spanning from Kathy Kallick’s down to earth “Hobo’s Lullaby” to the Moonlighters’ “Resophonic Lullaby,” which features languidly lovely Hawaiian steel guitars. The album’s only drawback, if it can be called that, is that the performances are so detailed that it’s hard to imagine falling asleep to them. More often than not, the simplest renditions of these songs are also the best: Suzy Thompson’s “Mama Loves” uses just mandolins, fiddle, and voice to create a hypnotic lullaby. Likewise, David Grisman and Tony Price’s “Song for Two Pamelas” makes for a beautiful and restful duet between the mandolinist and guitarist. Other highlights include Bill Staines’ rugged “Home on the Range,” Sweet Honey in the Rock’s “Hush L’il Baby,” and Mulebone UK’s “My Creole Belle.” Lovingly crafted and a joy to listen to, American Lullaby is a worthwhile collection of rustic, restful music for children and adults alike.