John McCutcheon's "Spring Songs"
    by John Cech

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That's John McCutcheon with a little of "April Fool," from his splendid recording, Spring Songs, from Rounder Records. Its one part of a cycle of CDs that he's called The Four Seasons, with a nod to the Italian composer, Antonio Vivaldi. But McCutcheon's caldendar of events, and the music he's set them to are classically American. Here are songs about the restlessness of spring fever, and the fears of trying out for Little League, about the surprising choices of spring cleaning and an older sister's passage through one of the transforming experiences of her life:

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McCutcheon gives each of the songs a different and delightfully, cleverly appropriate musical spin. "Grounded" is done as -- what else? -- a blues number, and "Snow in April" has the moody, contemplative pace of a slow jazz ballad. And there's the finger-pickin' country tune, "Dog's Life," that sees the world from the point of view of the family pooch. And the CD closes with a put-down-the top surfer anthem that will carry you into the next season and the next installment of this terrific music for all the generations riding to the beach in your convertible.

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Copyright 2003 John Cech

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"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."