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Swamp Romp Music CD Review by Kimberley Linkletter

Johnette Downing and Scott Billington

While visiting National Parks, museums, and living history villages during a recent week's long road trip in Louisiana, we found ourselves enjoying the music of the area more and more so when we learned that we would be receiving an advance release copy of “Swamp Romp” we were thrilled. Johnette Downing, a multi-award-winning musician has teamed up with GRAMMY Award-winning producer and musician Scott Billington to create a CD filled with fun songs that will be released in time for Mardi Gras 2019.

Traveling around and learning about the diverse cultures this amazing area has to offer we realized that much of this culture is displayed in the musical stylings of the region. From the popular South Louisiana Pop sound that is super popular with children to the more traditional French tunes favored by Cajun artists, Louisiana boasts a lively selection of beats that are sure to keep toes tapping and folks singing along.

We took no time to tear open the package as soon as it arrived and popped it into the CD player in our SUV. We love to listen, and sing along, to music on our road trips and this was natural. Hearing the opening notes of “Swamp Romp” we found ourselves humming along right away. Then came one of our favorites, “Who Put the Baby in the King Cake,” that takes us through the French tradition of the King Cake leading up to Mardi Gras. It holds all of what I have taught our girls and grandsons about the special cakes of my childhood memories (Gramma was always the first to bake this cake on Three Kings in January!)

Another of our favorite tunes is J’ai vu le Loup, le Renard et la Belette (I Saw the Wolf, the Fox, and the Weasel) a traditional tune that has been adapted and arranged by Johnette to be bilingual and kid-friendly. We just love the beat of this lively tune with its fiddle, ukulele, and harmonica sounds.

This CD has a little book of liner notes that explain musical styles and a bit about each song. You will also find more information and complete lyrics on the website. I do not know about your family, but we really like to sing along with the lyrics until we learn them well.

You will also find additional products to purchase on the website that include the book Johnette has written to go along with “Who Put the Baby in the King Cake.” It is a colorful edition that little ones will have fun singing along with.

So how did we use this musical CD in our homeschool? Well first off, we listened, sang along, and tapped our foot to the lively kid-friendly music (we enjoyed it as adults as well). Next, we played it a lot while studying the Acadians and their exodus from Nova Scotia and subsequent settlement in Louisiana. It set just the right mood for the subject and helped make it even more fun and complete.

Overall, we absolutely enjoyed Johnette and Scott’s music and will continue to long into the future.

-Product Review by Kimberley Linkletter, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March 2019