“Now I Go to School” - words and music by Laura Doherty
Laura Doherty's signature folk-pop stylings and her gift for making young listeners feel that she is singing directly to and for them infuse this new album with cozy fun and notable, kid-respecting warmth. There's an upstairs, downstairs game of "Hide and Seek," and "Muddy Puddles" that require both boots and bathing suits. "Now I Go to School" celebrates a kid's big step into the world of backpacks, cubbies, new friends, and learning, and Doherty's assured vocals ukulele strum light up "Lucky Charm" ("You are my lucky charm/I'll keep you close to my heart"). Rob Newhouse's lead guitar accompaniment on "Pasta Noodles," deepens Doherty's clever recitation of all kinds of pasta, and gentle "Wonderful 1" and captivating "Can't Wait To Turn 8" acknowledge two special birthdays. (Doherty is notably joined in the latter by Justin Roberts.) The album's overall tone is set by the title track, "High Five," perfectly calibrated with mellow bounce.
Lynne Heffley ©2018 Parents' Choice
“Doherty keenly observes what young children most love, distilling it into simple, melodic songs that are inherently fun to sing.”
-Parent’s Choice Award review of Laura Doherty’s In a Heartbeat
“Doherty writes the perfect pop song for kids: light and breezy”
CHICAGO - After much anticipation following her last studio and Parents’ Choice award-winning album in 2014, independent musician Laura Doherty is set to release her fifth kids’ CD, aptly named High Five on March 2, 2018. Featured guest artist is the three-time grammy nominee and beloved family music artist Justin Roberts.
Inspired by the simple and affirming gesture itself, High Five brings together the themes of friendship, family and fun. Songs celebrating the joys of childhood, from first birthdays to the first day of school, make a heartwarming, upbeat album that appeals to listeners young and old. Curating a collection of songs that can be enjoyed by her oldest (now turning 8) and newest fans was a priority for Laura Doherty this time around.
Keeping true to her folk-pop roots, High Five is chock full of rich, colorful acoustic instrumentation drawing upon fond memories from her childhood. True to form, Laura Doherty’s sweet and inviting voice are the highlight of the album. When paired with the lovely harmonizing vocals of long-time collaborator Cat Tager, songs like “Hide and Seek” and “Lucky Charm” give listeners of all-ages a warm, fuzzy feeling. The sounds of Andrew Wilkins on the upright bass in “Make a Friend”, an uplifting tune for anyone feeling lonely, perfectly compliment Laura’s signature melodious chord progressions. Three crowd pleasing dance anthems sure to get even the most reluctant wallflower on their feet take the album’s tempo up a notch. “Can’t Wait To Turn 8” and its jangly early 90’s pop inspired guitar riffs feature Grammy-nominated Justin Roberts on vocals. On the title track “High Five”, the punchy horns of Anna and Evan Jacobson and soulful guitar licks by band member Rob Newhouse create a jammy vibe reminiscent of 60’s R&B. Matt Brown and his rollicking banjo picking can be heard on “Muddy Puddles”, a high energy bluegrass track with an infectious beat. “Now I Go To School” perfectly captures the bittersweet feelings of the first day of school with Michael Riendeau breaking away from his familiar drum kit to take a seat on the cajón. “Wonderful 1” is a sweet love song celebrating baby’s first year and birthday. The album rounds out with fun, kid favorites like “Paulette the Purple Dragonette” where we meet a puppet inspired a friend from the moon and “Pasta Noodles” which pays homage to the mealtime staple while whisking listeners away to their favorite Italian trattoria.
Laura Doherty reflects, “When two people clap their hands together in a high five, both people feel more energized. And, particularly at this time, I want my music to generate that same type of positive energy, bring people together and make them feel connected to one another. You can’t do a high five on your own. You need a second person - a friend, a parent, a teacher or neighbor - to make that magic happen and that’s what this album is all about.”
Known for her warm, engaging style, Laura Doherty has a remarkable ear for a catchy melody, a passion for creating sweet, folk-inspired songs, and a one-of-a-kind ability to connect with children that earned her the moniker “Chicago’s pop sweetheart for kids” from AAA Living Magazine.
Laura Doherty has been immersed in music throughout her life. Her first instrument, in the fourth grade, was clarinet, followed by piano at age 12. Soon after picking up the guitar when when was 16, Laura found her place in the acoustic-folk world. Guitar remains her primary instrument, yet Laura still loves piano and she dabbles on electric bass, mandolin, ukulele, and banjo. She has always loved to sing and laughingly notes that she remembers herself as a kid, “singing Barry Manilow’s ‘I Can’t Smile Without You’ into an old tape recorder...acapella, of course!” Landing in Chicago after college, Laura joined the teaching staff at the legendary Old Town School of Folk Music, where she served as director of the school’s early childhood Wiggleworms program for more than a decade and continues to teach today. Before recording her own children’s albums, Laura co-produced the Parents’ Choice Gold-winning Old Town School of Folk Music compilation album, Wiggleworms Love you (2005) and, with Ralph Covert of Ralph’s World, recorded educational songs for Disney Sound.
In 2009, Laura Doherty released her first of four kids albums Kids in the City followed by the equally endearing Shining Like a Star (2011), In a Heartbeat (2014), and Animal Tracks (2016) is a "best of" collection of Laura's engaging animal songs. Often joined onstage by her band of Chicago talent, the Heartbeats, Laura has performed hundreds of shows at premier venues and festivals across the country, including Chicago’s Ravinia, Lollapalooza, Nashville's Pilgrimage Fest, Philly’s World Cafe Live, and many more.
High Five will be available on iTunes, Spotify, CDBaby.com and at select retail outlets.
CD Details: High Five
Release date: March 2, 2018
For ages: 0-8
Label: Laura Doherty Music
Run Time: 27 minutes
'HIGH FIVE' TRACK LIST
Hide and Seek
Now I Go to School
Can't Wait to Turn 8
Make a Friend
Paulette the Purple Dragonette
LAURA DOHERTY - HIGH FIVE TOUR
Mar. 11 Old Town School of Folk Music - Chicago, IL
Mar. 16-17 SXSW - Austin, TX
April 28 Overture Center for the Arts - Madison, WI
Check out my Hotdog song featured on NBC News as part of their Hotdog Fest coverage.