Priscilla Herdman


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Daydreamer is the latest in Priscilla Herdman's series of bright-eyed folk albums that are as much for adults as they are for kids. Sure, Herdman's voice is sweeter than pink lemonade, and her annunciation would make an English teacher proud. But acoustic guitar and touches of fiddle (courtesy of Jay Ungar), accordion, and banjo give Daydreamer a pastoral, fresh-cut grass feel that's pretty universal. Besides, who can't have a laugh at "Apple Picker's Reel," with lyrics like "Hey ho you'll lose you mind if you sing this song about a hundred times"? When she isn't singing about turning into a tree or "Ticklish Tom and Pickildy Pie," Herdman's folky sensibilities suggest Joan Baez or the clear-eyed sound of the Weavers, like in a plaintively plucked version of "What a Wonderful World" or the front-porch mountain music of "Water from Another Time." But mostly, Daydreamer is a pleasant, kid-oriented record that focuses on storytelling rather than singing along. Herdman's songs of mermaids, the market, and "how to smile for a picture without looking like a dope" (from the fabulous "Kindergarten Wall") are more fun than rolling down a hill, and won't affix parents with the dizzied look of incomprehension that the Barneys of the world engender.

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