Inviting kids outdoors to explore nature, sing, dance, and play is at the heart of the new children’s CD by singer-songwriter Joe Reilly, titled Let’s Go Outside. The album of 18 fun and educational tunes begins with a “Wake Up” song to help kids and their families start their day smiling and singing. The album takes kids on an imaginative musical journey to examine natural science from the perspective of decomposers, water and a watershed, amphibians, and the strange scavenger raptor, the turkey vulture.
In addition to these specific topics, Let’s Go Outside introduces young listeners to broad themes of living in balanced and sustainable ways, causes of and solutions to global climate change, the problem of endangered species, and what comprises a community. The album concludes by with a “Good Night” song, helping kids wind down after a long day of playing outside and bringing a sense of calm gratitude to little bodies and minds.
“From mammals to amphibians, the water cycle to tomatoes, singer-songwriter Joe Reilly teaches kids about the importance of the environment through music- and invites them to sing along.” ~National Public Radio’s Living On Earth
Let’s Go Outside is a follow-up to Reilly’s 2007 release, Children of the Earth, which was featured on National Public Radio’s environmental program Living on Earth. Like his previous children’s album, Let’s Go Outside includes kid singers and songwriters accompanying Joe and his grown-up friends on many of the songs. Five of the songs were composed with elementary classrooms in the Ann Arbor Public Schools through a Michigan Education Association grant and the Ann Arbor Public Library Songsters Program. Other songs on the album were written with an elementary classroom in Detroit Public Schools, the Scholars Together Learning Community in Royal Oak, and campers at the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor. In addition to the children who sing with Joe, world-class musicians all contribute to the diverse musicality of the album, including Gayelynn McKinney (drum set), Marion Hayden (upright bass), Lori Fithian and Mark Stone (percussion), Mary Tillinghast and Lesley-Anne Stone (vocals), and Ryan Shea (guitar).
The result is a creative collection of clever and engaging songs that make kids and parents alike want to get up and move like water, flap their wings like a turkey vulture, sound like the wind, decompose into compost, and jump like a frog. Included with the CD is a lyric booklet with suggested activities for each song. Living out the environmental values in his songs, Joe will donate a portion of the proceeds from sales of this CD to both the Huron River and Kalamazoo River Watershed Councils.