We All Live Downstream

Music review by
Kathi Kamen Goldmark, Common Sense Media
We All Live Downstream Music Poster Image
Entertaining environmental education with kazoos.

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age 2+
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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Terrific message about protecting the Earth's water supply.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the Banana Slug String Band is all about fun songs with an environmentalist message, performed by a few accomplished roots musicians and a bunch of their friends in a variety of "Americana" styles.

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What's the story?

A little rough around the edges and oh-so PC, WE ALL LIVE DOWNSTREAM uses folk, bluegrass, rock, and gospel arrangements to promote positive messages and educate kids about watershed issues. An accomplished cast of roots musicians (\"Solar\" Steve Van Zandt, \"Marine\" Mark Nolan, Doug \"Dirt\" Greenfield, \"Airy\" Larry Graff) and a roster of guest artists that includes Tim O'Brien and Laurie Lewis kick out the jams on songs with environmentally-friendly titles like \"It's a Blue Planet,\" \"Let the Wetlands Stand,\" and the rather surreal, meandering \"Thankful for the Watershed.\"

Is it any good?

Timely and important as this issue is, the Banana Slug Band doesn't ever forget to have fun, and an enthusiastic kids' chorus helps keep it that way. The four main Banana Slugs are all educators who understand the value of music in communicating important issues, and they take material that would sound unbearably preachy or dry in less skillful hands and make it work with lyrics like "Water is a precious thing/life, oh life, is what it brings" set to a sparkling reggae beat. Add a colorful cover created by Lim Yi Fan, an 11-year-old student from Malaysia, and you've got a winning package that educates while it delights.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the importance of protecting the environment. Can you think of five simple things you can do at home to conserve resources that will help protect our water? Our planet?

Music details

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