The childless children's music performer is a rarity. If I want to freak people out or boggle their minds, I inform them that Raffi doesn't have children. That seems to break most people's mental hard drive processors. On the other hand, just because a performer HAS children doesn't mean they have to make their music all about their children. That's the main distraction on Cheri Magill's otherwise fine and dandy CD, TOUR GUIDE.
Then again, TOUR GUIDE is a concept album of children's material sung from the perspective of a parent to their young child. "Crazy" is not the Willie Nelson-penned song made famous by Patsy Cline. Rather, it's about how a hyperactive child frazzles parental nerves, but gosh, there's nobody else I'd rather suffer for and with. The very next track, "Brave" is not the Sara Bareilles song. Rather, it's about how a tentative child pushes and inspires a parent, but gosh, there's nobody else I'd rather plan adventures for and with:
You are my biggest adventure
You are my first shooting star
You are my strong tidal wave
And you make me brave.
Similar thoughts permeate the remaining tracks – "Unconditionally" is about unconditional love. "Better" is about how a child's love is better that so, so many things. "Don't You Forget" reminds a child that mommy always love them. Okay are we clear about about the concept of TOUR GUIDE?
TOUR GUIDE is similar to last month's dreamy STRAWBERRY WIND from Jessie Baylin – both CDs from mothers who had recorded "adult" music and are now turning to children's music. Baylin celebrated parenthood by mining the wonders of childhood merged with swirling 1960s arrangements. Magill has chosen a much shallower mine to investigate, with the exception of a reinvented "Chopsticks Lullaby" that closes the CD. Fortunately, TOUR GUIDE is Magill's first entry into children's music. Appropriately, these are baby steps. And she can only grow from here.
TOUR GUIDE is available on May 4 from Cheri Magill's website, Amazon, iTunes, and Spotify.
Here is the video for the title track of the CD: