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The Sounding Board by R J Lannan
RJ Lannan is the reviewer for The Sounding Board.
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The Lullaby Album
By Carolyn Southworth and Jennifer Thomas
Label: Heron's Point Music
Released 7/2/2009
The Lullaby Album tracks
1. Solo piano with orchestra: Brahms Lullaby
2. Solo piano with orchestra: Sweet Dreams
3. Solo piano with orchestra: Baby of Mine
4. Solo piano with orchestra: All the Pretty Little Horses
5. Solo piano with orchestra: Dream Weaver
6. Solo piano with orchestra: Un Petit Nocturne
7. Solo piano with orchestra: I Am a Child of God
8. Solo piano with orchestra: Dancing on the Clouds
9. Solo piano with orchestra: All Through the Night
10. Solo piano with orchestra: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
11. Solo piano with orchestra: An Old Scottish Lullaby
12. Solo piano with orchestra: Goodnight My Angel
13. Solo piano with orchestra: Unseen Angel
14. Solo piano with orchestra: Sweet Dreams (w/vocal)
15. Solo piano: Brahms Lullaby
16. Solo piano: Sweet Dreams
17. Solo piano: Baby of Mine (Preston's Song)
18. Solo piano: All the Pretty Little Horses
19. Solo piano: Dream Weaver
20. Solo piano: Un Petit Nocturne
21. Solo piano: I Am a Child of God
22. Solo piano: Dancing on the Clouds
23. Solo piano: All Through the Night
24. Solo piano: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
25. Solo piano: Old Scottish Lullaby
26. Solo piano: Goodnight My Angel
27. Solo piano: Unseen Angel
Oh, Sweet Tranquility
They say it takes a village to raise a child. On The Lullaby Album, it took a plethora of talents that resulted in a moving experience for the child in all of us. The recording is a concerted effort between mother Carolyn Southworth and daughter Jennifer Thomas. Both are noted artist with previous works. The album has the unique feature of being a double album. One disc has thirteen exquisite tunes with solo piano and the other disc features the tunes with full orchestration. It can suit any mood or situation. The album also features several noted musicians including Jace Vec and Jillian Goldin and includes legendary New Age guitarist Paul Speer as producer. There are over one hundred minutes of soothing New Age and World sounds on the album. Every note is a loving contribution to peace and serenity. Every song is a musical blessing.

Jennifer's rendition of Baby of Mine is a noteworthy tune as it captures a bit of classical elements, but glistens with the starry presence of contemporary themes. Rolling soft and deeply memorable, this song is a gift or perhaps a hushed prayer of thanks.

All the Pretty Little Horses is a traditional African-American lullaby and is sometimes called Hush-a-Bye. It has been recorded numerous times by such greats as Peter, Paul & Mary, Judy Collins and Shawn Colvin. Carolyn's arrangement is poignant and sweet as the well-known song takes you back to your childhood, a loved one or forward to the child in your newfound dreams or the new life in your future.

Dream Weaver became a favorite almost right away. It is lushly orchestrated into a tune that suits a major motion picture or a modern symphony. There is soothing movement in the piece as if we are on an emotional journey and our dreams start to unfold in our hearts and minds.

Sweet Dreams with lead vocal by Jillian Goldin and background by Lori Cunningham is absolutely seraphic. This is the accompaniment to the instrumental Sweet Dreams. Both tunes are gently dulcet with the wishes of a peaceful sleep for the angels. The drifting melody and sweet voice is the background sound for anyone’s daydream or nighttime slumber.

"Each night as evening falls, sweet dreams are born
All bound with love, soft and rosy as the morn."
- Carolyn Southworth

Dancing in the Clouds with its sumptuous string arrangement and impressive melody is another remarkable tune. Just for a moment, the intro reminded me of Castle on a Cloud from the Les Misérable soundtrack. It had that airy feel with a touch of innocence that deeply etches the song on your heart and mind.

I have always been familiar with the vocal rendition of All Through the Night. I can still remember some of the words. However, I have never heard it like this. Southworth takes the song and makes it her own by adding a layer of emotion with a touch of innate beauty. I can still voice the words, but it is hard to do justice to the melody.

Old Scottish Lullaby with orchestrations by Jace Vec is far and above the best cut on The Lullaby Album. The combination of flute, pipes and piano are eminently enchanting. It is a majestic tune full of magic and melancholy. It is the closing credits to a day of sunny skies, big yellow kites and grasshopper hunts.

I believe it to be a stroke of genius to make the album a combination of solo piano and orchestrated tunes. Each rendition has its own magic and its own story. The between mother and daughter is obvious and it flows in and around every note. Whether you want music to fill your days with peace or your nights dreams, then I recommend this album.
Rating: Very Good   Very Good
- reviewed by RJ Lannan on 4/7/2010
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