Happy, happy Family Time with Ziggy Marley

Parents may have chilled out over the years to a little Bob Marley but their children will be revving up (and chillin’) with his son, Ziggy Marley.

Ziggy Marley certainly has all the credentials to create a fabulous album for children. He grew up in a recording studio at a time when Bob Marley and The Wailers were at the height of their popularity. He also has five children of his own so he knows what works for kids.

Although not new to the kindie music scene (he has done a number of soundtrack recordings), Family Time is the first album for children that Marley has recorded. That said, Family Time is for everyone in the same way that the happy rhythms of reggae music generally appeal to kids. It is bright, packed with happy tunes and guaranteed to put a smile on little dials.

Marley has teamed up with a number of guest stars on Family Time and the impressive list includes Paul Simon, Willie Nelson, Jack Johnson and members of his own family, making it truly a family affair. The whole album is thoroughly enjoyable but there are a few tracks that really stand out. I’m a dedicated Elizabeth Mitchell fan so teaming up with Marley for ‘Wings of the Eagle‘ is a treat. The duet with Willie Nelson, ‘This Train‘, is surprising – in very different ways both Marley and Nelson have a relaxed sound – the contrast in their voices works and is well worth a listen.

Children will love the tropical, musical version of the game Simon Says, called ‘Ziggy Says’, but the true gem is ‘ABC‘. When it comes to reggae, A is not for apple, ‘A is for Africa, B is for brother, and C is for caring’ and so on. The tune is inspired by Bob Marley’s ‘Bend Down Low‘ and as the music slides toward the familiar chorus, we hear ‘G is for guitar and H is for here we go… bend down low’.

Family Time is available from iTunes for $16.99.

Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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