Sweet Songs, Music for Families

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Monica Cravotta, co-owner of Hideout Studios with husband Mark and indie singer-songwriter, Ben Kweller, came up with the idea to record an album of children’s music with friends while pregnant with her first baby in 2006. She had bonded with Libby Kirkpatrick and Sarah Sharp when they were all eight months pregnant (with due dates all within 10 days) and singing together at a Strings Attached concert.

At the same time, Monica’s friend, Mary Londos was exploring the idea of recording her own album of lullabies. Monica suggested that everyone come together at The Hideout and contribute a song or two to make an album for the new babies (Monica’s born October 21, Sarah’s born October 31 and Libby’s born November 7).

Between 2007 and 2009, Monica invited more friends to contribute songs to the project including Noëlle Hampton, Gretchen Janzow, Elizabeth Suggs and Elizabeth McQueen. She also invited André Moran to engineer and Sara Hickman to produce. Sweet Songs really came to life in 2009 with Sara’s production leadership and Monica’s fundraising efforts to raise the money needed to pay for the album’s production, manufacturing and marketing costs.

Between Monica and her seven friends each contributing songs, the album is made up of thirteen tracks: eight magical originals and five favorite covers including, “The Fox,” “Three Bears,” “Magic Penny,” “Donut Shop,” and “This Little Piggy.”

The cover art painting is by beloved Austin artist and mother, Andrea Burden who was connected to a number of the Sweet Songs singers. Andrea passed from this life unexpectedly in December of 2009 at the age of 39 leaving behind her partner and two daughters. Like many people in Austin, Monica was deeply moved by the beauty of Andrea’s spirit and creative expression. She saw the giraffe painting at Andrea’s memorial service and felt it was the perfect visual representation of Sweet Songs’ sweetness and a possible way to honor and cherish Andrea’s memory. In sharing the image with the other women, they all agreed. Andrea’s partner, Noe generously agreed to share the art for the project. To see more of Andrea’s work, please visit: http://www.andreaburden.net/gallery/

All of the participating women are thrilled to be contributing to the children’s music genre while advocating for the health benefits of for both mothers and infants and raising awareness and money for our local milk bank. 100% of the profits from Sweet Songs CD sales will go to the Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin: http://www.milkbank.org/

The album will be celebrated and released in Austin at a family-friendly brunch and concert on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 9, 2010 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm at Big Red Sun. Please reserve your tickets in advance here: http://www.austinsweetsongs.com/cd-release-concert/

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