Various Artists – Lightning’s Lessons: Learning Through Music
Little Lightning Productions – 2021
11 Tracks ; 38 minutes
Many parents have been driven nearly crazy from having to listen to Elmo, Barney and Disney CDs while taking trips with their children. New parents will not have to face that same fate thanks to Shari Puorto and Doug Woolverton, who wrote and produced Volume One of Lightning’s Lessons: Learning Through Music. Lightning is a Rabbit who has several bluesy friends, such as “Go-Go the Guinea Pig” and “The Ewe-ettes”. (An illustrated sing-along book is available through www.lightningslessons.com.)
Lightning’s Lessons contains eleven songs performed by musicians who are truly blues all-stars. Joining Puorto and Woolverton are Victor Wainwright, Curtis Salgado, Duke Robilliard, Laura Chavez, John Nemeth, Tommy Castro, Shemekia Copeland, Chris Vachon, Carey Bowman, Ray Greene, Leon Spradley, Jimmy Vivino, Vanessa Collier, and the voice of Bluesville, Big Llou Johnson. The songs teach directions, the alphabet, numbers, shapes, seasons and more. Shemekia Copeland’s song, “Freddie the Frog” stands out as one of the best, and teaches about the blues, naming Robert Johnson, the three “Kings,” Muddy Waters, and many more.
Most of the songs are up-tempo, and every song is catchy and very bluesy, (with the exception of one reggae song about the benefit of eating vegetables). Given the quality of the musicians involved, it is not surprising that the music is so great you absolutely will not mind hearing it again and again. (John Nemeth’s song to teach numbers sounds so good it illustrates why people say he could sing the phone book and we’d love it.) The album ends with a funny song about flatulence, called “P-ewe!”.
The mission of this album was to assist in teaching young children basic learning concepts, and to “inspire and ignite an early love for Roots/Blues music in a fun and memorable way”. The musicians involved deserve an “A+” for this project—mission accomplished and lots of parents who are likely extremely grateful.