Cathy Fink &
Marcy Marxer,
Pocket Full of Stardust
(Rounder, 2002)

Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer have created a delightful children's CD in Pocket Full of Stardust. The CD was intended to have two sides and for the most part it does. In the first half the songs are full of energy, while the second half are more like lullabies.

The music is wonderful, and it is neat to hear the children's ensemble of singers on five of the songs. There is a wide range of instruments used on the CD, including banjo, jola tubes, pennywhistle, viola da gamba, guitar, rainstick, hammered dulcimer, bass and oboe.

"The Rhythm of the World" has a quiet energy and a simplicity that makes it an easy song to sing along with. The energy builds into a dance with "The Silliest Dream," which also tells a fun story. There is a jazzy edge to "Countin' Cars on the Sleepytime Train" that keeps your toes tapping. Then comes the first lullaby in "Pocket Full of Stardust."

"Water, Sun, Earth & Sky" is both an ode and a round; it is also absolutely beautiful. There is a slice of nonsense fun in "Jiggle & Tickle," while "Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed" is a song that adds a new line each time through. "I Got Pajamas" is a fun song about getting ready for bed. The energetic half of the CD ends with "Sail Away Together," a powerful song full of hope and love.

The slower side glides in with a waltz called "Thank You." You are treated to a western lullaby in "Goodnight Lullaby." The first part of "Counting Stars/Every Little Star" is a poem read aloud; the second part is a song that builds from there. "Talkin' to My Teddy" manages to be a lullaby even though it is full of quiet energy. There is a reprise of "Pocketful of Stardust" that I wish was longer.

"Whispers" is a short song that takes a moment to get used to, but the lyrics are touching. The CD closes with another slice of hope in "Wish for Tomorrow."

Pocket Full of Stardust is a wonderful children's CD, but it is not just for children. There is a beauty, a purity and warmth to it that will make it just as enjoyable for adults.

- Rambles
written by Paul de Bruijn
published 15 February 2003

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