Best Children’s Music Album
Thank you so much for visiting my FYC page! This collection of songs is a work of love, community and collaboration, with the intention of bringing joy, hope and positive messaging. I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed making this music!
Each song on Happy Day can trace its lineage to this profoundly human experience. In a most natural way, the music on this album owes its existence to the efforts of this generous, large-hearted, and gifted musician to establish a connection more universal and more powerful than language.
The title track sets the album’s good-times mood, celebrating the joy of a beautiful day with its tight, insistent rhythm providing a vivid intensity. The sounds and rhythmic feel of train travel, enhanced by a shuffle beat rolling along under the soaring spirit of Mad Dog Friedman’s blues harmonica, all add up to the mystical image of a train in “Magical Music Train,” traveling to wherever one’s imagination takes it. “Plant a Garden,” a super-fun, energetic tune with a Louisiana zydeco sound, encourages curiosity, experimentation, and a connection to the earth. Candy is a universal delight, and the humorous “I Like Candy” spreads the happiness while encouraging self-care and balance. Too much is not such a good idea!
“Take a Walk in the Woods” reminds listeners to not abandon the nature-based ambience of their environment for the enticements of a video screen. “Turtle Time” and “Only One You” emphasize the importance of contemplation, while “Fly Seagull Fly” is a song of avian admiration and the life of the sea. “It’s Time to Go to Sleep” speaks of the power of the breath to ground oneself and relax into sleep.
The most remarkable song on the album, “I’m a Yak,” provided an opportunity for Jenn Cleary to collaborate with her adopted daughter, Dorje Dolma, who, until age ten, was raised by her nomadic yak-herder aunties, parents, and grandparents in the remote Himalayan mountains of Nepal. “I’m a Yak” can be heard as an educational song with yak facts, a journey back to a time and place of pre-modern nomadic life, a cautionary tale of climate change affecting wildlife, or simply a terrific world music song with an irresistible groove. The people of Nepal’s Dolpo region play traditional music handed down over hundreds of years and vocalize to call their yaks back from the pastures. Dorje Dolma based her songwriting on accurate information about yaks and her experiences living and working with them. She and Jenn Cleary not only wrote “I’m a Yak” together but also engaged Dorje’s family in Nepal in the process. Recordings they sent were woven into the fabric of this song, and Dorje herself can be heard doing her yak whistle and the herding calls that she used as a child to bring her yaks home: “coo, coo.” Dorje Dolma is the author of Yak Girl: Growing Up in the Remote Dolpo Region of Nepal, published in 2018 by Sentient Publications.
Produced and Engineered by John McVey
Mastered by GRAMMY®-winner David Glasser of Airshow Mastering
Jenn Cleary – acoustic guitar, vocals
John McVey– acoustic and electric guitars, banjo, mandolin, dobro, background vocals, sound effects
Christian Teele – drums
Chris Engleman – bass
Eric Moon – B3 organ, keys, accordion,
Mad Dog Friedman – harmonica
Mai Bloomfield – cello
Darren Kramer – trombone
Megan Burtt – background vocals
Kate Hope – background vocals
Dorje Dolma – Yak herding vocals, whistling, yak bel
Karma Dhandul – Dolpo damyen lute & background vocals
Lhamo Bhuti & Dolma Choenzom – background vocals
Kids Chorus – Jonathan & Michael Tubbs, Malone Schaefer, Siena & Wyatt LeFler, Eamon Temme & Holden Meese
Jenn Cleary is a folk-rock, award-winning singer-songwriter from Boulder, Colorado, with many years’ experience performing on international stages. Highlight shows include Colorado Rockies games, E-Town, Sundance Film Festivals, blues and folks festivals and multiple European tours. She has a range of song styles and performs bluesy, acoustic solo shows and can rock out with her full electric band.
Jenn has released two albums of original songs (Breakin’ Loose, 2006;Back to the Wheel, 2010) and one of bluesy covers (Blues Full of Heart, 2018).
Her first children’s album, All Together Now, won prestigious recognition from the 2021 NAPPA awards for being best in the music industry. She was the Back to School winner of the 2021 Fall Parent and Teacher Choice Awards, won the 2021 Hot Diggity Award, which signifies innovation, quality, entertainment, educational value and a commitment to excellence and a 2021 International Songwriting Contest semi-finalist for her song “Our Wild Family.” Jenn will release her next album of children’s songs, called Happy Day, on June 17, 2022.
Jenn has always included playful tunes in her output and her children’s albums blend full-on fun with environmental and social consciousness. Her songwriting for children is informed by a lifetime of assisting, educating, and raising them. She has been a founder of a non-profit that provided housing, schooling and medical care for Nepali children, as well as a K-12 private school in her community. She has also been a foster parent, a sponsor and raised her own three children.