various artists,
Sandburg Out Loud
(August House, 2002)

I've always liked Carl Sandburg, so I was delighted to review this CD for all ages. I am happy to say that Sandburg still has the magic touch, though it's been more than 80 years since the Rootabaga Stories, Part One made their debut in 1922. The performers on August House's CD, Sandburg Out Loud, are avowed lifelong fans of the quirky writer who told these stories to his children long ago.

Sandburg had a way with titles and names that hinted at something playful. Who could resist the story about Blixie Bimber and the power of the buckskin whincher? Or the one about the white horse girl and the blue wind boy?

Sandburg's prose is poetry ... it sings and burbles along like music with fresh and unexpected cadences. Did his mother talk to him this way or did he invent it after many tries, like Edison with his light bulb?

His poetry is catchy and and swingy, the kind children can chant after a few exposures. Then there are the songs from The American Songbag.The poems, the music and the songs are a perfect match for the stories on this CD. I was bowled over by the excellence of performances by Carol Birch, Bill Harley, Angela Lloyd and David Holt. From now on, I will be on the lookout for August House CDs. Who knows what classics they will do next?

- Rambles
written by Jean Marchand
published 28 June 2003

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