REVIEWS: Jeff Jones and the Earthtones
Review by successful children's artist Stephen Michael Schwartz from Parachute Express.

I've had it in my car and have been listening to it on my way to and from my various destinations. I know how I feel when I've finished a project and I send it out to friends. If I don't hear from anyone I start thinking "it sucks" and no one wants to tell me. It's the way my "artist' mind works. Well, let me put your mind at rest. You've done a wonderful job combining musical styles from Latin, Spanish, African, Cajun and American jazz influences and all with a child's sensibilities. The hardest thing to do in children's music is keeping your eyes and ears on your target, You did a very good job of that. Here are my favorites:

Gotta start with the cover……..Totally fun, colorful and retro.( I owned a Metro as a teen and wished I’d never sold it). You look like a hip Mac Rabbinack (Dr. John) and Hannah looks like she just got off the “magic bus” from Woodstock. This cover will turn heads. Very inviting.I like the bright sky on the cover (daytime) and the dark sky and the stars on the back (night), telling me that this can be enjoyed day or night. That was my take anyway.

Everybody Says Hello.............. Great opening song. Wonderful Beatle influence on the chorus. Hannah's voice sounded terrefic. Nice way to kick off the album and pull the listener in.

Cumbia Del Sol………………….Love the track, the vocalist and your sax playing was supurb. A nice nod to one of my favorite singer/songwriters, Harry Nillson.

The banjo piece on the beginning of Pony Ride was great, I think it’s called Going Up To Cripple Creek. Right? Jon’s a wonderful musician and a great addition to the color of the album.

Mambo La Merced…………..Might be my favorite track on the album. I loved the track, the whole vibe of the song felt like “Spill The Wine” by Eric Burdun and War. Your flute playing was great. The call and response with the little boy was the element that made this a winner for children. . When they hear a little person’s voice singing children relate big time.

A La Mucura……………Fun feel (Ob La De Ob La Da) It felt like you introduced the song twice and could have gone right into it from the “sax” descriptions. A small detail,but everyone’s a critic

Je Je Kule…………..Where have I heard this before? Terrific version. I think I know the drummer on this J

Mary Ann……………Loved the track with the marimbas and this guys voice is so great. Must be a fun song to do live. Nice drum track, too.

Na Tonga Conga………….I love this song. It had a Spiro Gyra feel to it. Very “up” and danceable. If I had one negative comment it was that the intro felt a bit long. I know as a player you are setting the tone for the piece but as a listener it struck me as a tad to long and ironically I might have faded a little longer. It seemed to end quickly. That’s a producers call, however and of course a matter of taste.

Night in Wulanbatuo…………Clearly this song was inspired by your magnificent trip to China. It is a beautiful melody, haunting yet hopeful. The singer is very expressive and held my interest. I loved the sparseness of the track. Great job.

Faeries Fly……………… What a beautiful poem. At the risk of sounding politically incorrect, I think this will be a favorite with the little girls. I want this woman to come to my house and read me to sleep.

Too Many Friends………….The best part about this sweet little song besides hearing Hannah’s lilting vocals throughout, is, that you didn’t belabor the point with a bridge or modulation of the chorus. The message stood out as a result and was a great way to end the album.

Those are my comments. I hope you sell a million copies. Congratulations on a job well done.





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