On "Christmas Cove", "Two Thumbs Up" and the outstanding title track, Johnny Bregar's 3rd children's CD springs forward with sheer beauty. The remainder of the 15 song set represents a sturdy collection of Americana/rootsy tunes that, while pleasant and enjoyable in their own right, fall short of fulfilling the lofty promise made by the trifecta of songs at the top.
Those three are a delight, maybe the best opening trio on any family record I've heard. That's not to say the remainder of the album is sub-par, only that there isn't another tune that really grabs on and holds you as tight as the first three. "Blue Canoe", a sweet/sublime lullaby that makes genial use of whistling and of the familiar lyrical phrase do-baa-dee-do, comes closest. "Salt and Pepper", with it's chorus of grade school voices, pleases my 5 year old but lacks the depth to resonate long after it's finished.
"Two Thumbs Up" became our defacto road trip anthem to and fro the KC Jiggle Jam. Despite the lack of a road trip theme, it's opening sentiment, "I know it's early / but I'm awake / I've got to get up a start my day / I hear birds singing / I'm a singing too", encapsulated our early morning launches with smiles on faces, songs in heads and the promise of fun days ahead. It quickly became tradition to play "Two Thumbs Up" first thing each morning, as we pushed away from another hotel parking lot.
I'm not the only one to become be taken with Johnny Bregar lately. The fine folks at Putumayo liked the song "Shoo Fly Pie" so much that it'll be featured on the next Putumayo Kids release titled "Picnic Playground".
While it's a strong effort overall, "Dragonfly" really is about those top three tracks. I have a sneaky suspicion that the best still lay ahead for Johnny Bregar. He has a perfect family album in him, I just know it.