Music can make you happy. It can make you think. It can make you feel confident. And, of course, it can make you want to move! Here are our music picks for 2011. We have a little rock, a little jazz, a little Kermit the Frog and even — as random as it sounds — a little Abigail Adams. Isn’t music great?

Tumble Bee” by Laura Veirs Have you ever heard of such traditional songs as “Little Lap-Dog Lullaby” and “King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki Me O”? Now you will! Veirs, who is known for her adult albums, has remade old folk songs that most people have probably never heard. These are beautiful bedtime songs, sure to send you into dreamland with images of foxes, elephants, horses and starlit nights.

Strange Dees, Indeed” by the Deedle Deedle Dees Are these guys history teachers or rock stars? Both! Be careful, this totally fun CD just may teach you something about such historical people as Mohandas Gandhi and Marie Curie. Using a variety of instruments and sounds, the Deedle Deedle Dees combine humor, history and rock-and-roll like no other!

The Green Album” by the Muppets These are not your mom and dad’s Muppets! Some of today’s hottest bands have recorded the original Muppet tunes in their own ways. Sing them along with your parents who will probably remember all the words from when they were your age.


Outside My Door” by Lori Henriques These jazzy tunes may inspire you to practice the piano a little more. That’s good, since Henriques is a piano teacher! The album is simply her playing the piano and singing upbeat and clever lyrics that will have you smiling, at times laughing, and in general feeling really good about who you are.

Practically Ridiculous” by the Jimmies The album title says it all. This album is ridiculous. And fun. And crazy. Play this when you just want to jump around and dance. The music is like a delicious sugar-filled dessert: It will make you giggle with delight.

Golden Kids Rules” by Chip Taylor and the Grandkids This album was made by kids! Chip Taylor, a lifelong musician, recorded it with his three granddaughters, ages 12, 10 and 7. The simple, pretty songs feature guitar, drums, keyboard and harmonica; the girls sing songs, including “Big Ideas,” about what they want to be when they grow up. On most of the tunes, Chip Taylor, known to the girls as “Pepa,” also sings, and his husky voice warms each song. We bet this CD will make you want to hug your grandpa.

Tiny Cool” by Princess Katie and Racer Steve Princess Katie and Racer Steve believe that kids rock, and they’re here to help you do just that! “Clelia’s Party” has a rhythmic Latino feel, while “Tube Sox” is a fun song about things that Princess Katie loves. A couple of songs, including “Shy,” are a little more serious. But most of what you’ll hear, including “Sand in My Sandwich” and “Japanese Robot,” make it clear that fun is what this band is all about.

Flying by Recess Monkey We had to mention these superheroes. They’re back! This time flying through life with superpowers and more power-pop tunes. If you liked their rock-and-roll in the past, you’ll like it again.

— Moira E. McLaughlin