Sing Along With Putumayo

Common Sense Media says

Rich bluegrass and folk classics for kids.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Encourages tolerance and togetherness.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a great record for younger kids, in an age when they're getting buried by clips of modern pop music everywhere they turn. It's American folk, blues, and bluegrass done in a way to maximize the sing-along factor and clarity of lyrics. It's also gentle in a fun way.

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What's the story?

SING ALONG WITH PUTUMAYO does a great job featuring songs once vital to the fabric of American music. For adults, it may bring back a grandparent's lullaby or a hauntingly great song once heard in an old movie. For kids, it's about reassuring and clear lyrics from gentle singers, backed by real music, that doubles as a way to ingrain some old classics into the subconscious. Elizabeth Mitchell and Daniel Littleton do a beautifully simple version of "You Are My Sunshine" that will make parents want to grab their kids and squeeze them until the song is done. One of the best moments of the CD is when Keb'Mo' takes a step outside the classic format to softly groove on the O'Jays' 1970s hit, "Love Train." It's a song that, when stripped down enough to make the words stand out, delivers a solid message of togetherness. If that gets a bit too mellow for antsy kids, Rosie Flores gets them up dancing with a swinging "Red Red Robin."

Is it any good?


Once again, Putumayo has shown skill in selecting a format and artists to aptly fit a non-mainstream format. With artists like Arlo Guthrie, Keb'Mo', Rosie Flores, and Taj Mahal, the record has instant credibility. Though the content is meant for a young audience, the warm guitars, happy fiddle, and dab of real soul music (Rufus Thomas makes it abundantly clear that the farmer we all know and love, Old MacDonald, has needed to get down with his bad self for years) won't be lost on adults. Unlike lots of perceived children's music, which can get old quick, Sing Along with Putumayo is done so well, with a timely format, that it's bound to become a lasting family favorite.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how music can be a powerful form of storytelling. How do American folk, blues, and bluegrass songs carry tales and legends from one generation to the next? What do songs on this CD tell you about the way things were in the past?

Music details

Release date:March 23, 2004
Label:Putumayo World Music
Genre:Children's Music
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of Sing Along With Putumayo was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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