Ben Gundersheimer (Mister G) is a living contradiction. The Jewish Latin Grammy winner has released his new children’s music CD, Fireflies. This release does not promote multi-lingualism or multiculturalism. Instead, it’s a straightforward, plain-spoken, old-fashioned folkie/kindie release. After a wave of “woke” or “important” releases, it’s nice to see an artist belting tunes about everyday topics without glancing at the headlines.
If there’s any theme to Fireflies, it’s the sense of childhood wonder at the great outdoors, nighttime, and being surrounded by the majesty of nature. It all starts with the title track, relating to “sweet summer breezes passing through the trees” while holding his sister’s hand.
“Not a worry in the world,” G sings in “Sweet Summertime,” building further along on “Me and You” and “Big Old World,” stopping for a snack with “S’Mores.” If there’s a more consistent children’s music producer than Dean Jones, I’d like to hear the evidence, as there’s a natural progression and flow to Fireflies, with neither a false notion or odd instrumentation. Lucy Kalantari ably provides vocal support, among others. And when you just need somebody to listen, there’s a “Four-Footed Friend”:
There are times when the world gets rough
Had enough of the human stuff
She’s always there for me
She sees the forest for the trees.
In these troubling, tumultuous times, there are few things that everyone can agree about. Music is one of those areas – well, except if you were a Texas Trump supporter and Willie Nelson fan this past month. Nonetheless, Mister G can sing about “Together As One” and people from distant lands taking each other’s hands and truly mean it. May there be better times ahead, with more open-mindedness and sing-alongs. And fireflies. And Mister G.
Here is the video for Mister G’s song “Green World”: