A singer-songwriter and guitarist with a penchant for the blues, Jenn Cleary shines in both bare and full settings on this 10 track listen, where her songs for kids are an extension of her non-profit work that promotes health and economic sufficiency programs in Nepal, India and Tibet.
“Our Wild Family” starts the listen with Cleary’s playful formula reminding us to care for our earth and animals as harmonica from Mad Dog Friedman and piano from Eric Moon complement Cleary’s melodic guitar work, and “My Sisters And Me” follows with a bluesy quality as the diverse singing aligns with frisky drumming from JJ Jones and warm backing vocals from Kate Hope and Megan Burtt.
In the middle, the rhythmic “Clean Water” bounces with a striking energy as Cleary encourages us to stop pollution in her charming, even soulful way, while “Love Right Now” brings in Mai Bloomfield on cello for an organ friendly folk song. “Backyard Farm”, one of the record’s best, then displays Moon’s accordion skills as Cleary shows some grit in her pipes, in between the quirky animal noises.
Approaching the end, “Less Gravity” showcases firm piano as John McVey’s strong electric guitar prowess doesn’t disappoint in the rock’n’roll climate, and “Families Of All Kinds” exits the listen with retro approach that includes keys, harmonica and brushed percussion working together with much nostalgia.
A multi-talented artist, Cleary is also a beekeeper, and this 4th album brings her 20 years of experience to an educational, wise and delightfully fun 32 minutes.