It may be the bout of vertigo I’m currently battling, but Sylvia’s new children’s music song cycle, Nature Child: A Dreamer’s Journey, had me feeling dizzy. Known to adult contemporary country music fans for her 80s songs, “Nobody,” “Tumbleweed,” and “Drifter,” Sylvia Hutton set out to create an entire fantasy world where all kids can live out their dreams, unencumbered by such things as adult supervision, naysayers, and bullies. The result is a utopian chimera known as Avalon, with 12 songs so light and hallucinatory that they practically evaporate after being played.
Showing her range and pitch, Sylvia provides all the vocals and harmonies on Nature Child, while calling forth all sorts of collaborators and contributors to deliver unimpeachable instrumentation and production to the CD. The standout track is the anthemic “Don’t Be Afraid To Dream,” which should have kids diving for their pencils and paper to birth their own vision quests.
Among other highlights is “My Best Friend,” a sweet take on one of the most-selected kids music topics. “If I Only Had Wings” gallops along with percussive, kinetic motion. “Imagination” explores a parent’s wide-eyed awe as children develop their own sense of wonderment and creative abilities:
I follow your every move
Your wish my command
No matter what you do
I know where you stand
I’m along just for the ride
A silent partner at your side
Avalon exists only in the imagination, but perhaps due to her Celtic roots, Sylvia’s trek features “Dancing Over An Emerald Isle.” The trip back from Avalon to your child’s bedroom features the lullaby “Good Night Sleep Tight My Little One,” a conceit that is almost unavoidable given its context as a journey with an arrival and departure. The songs on Nature Child all come back to one central concept, as referenced on “Home Is”: No matter how much you wish for, there’s always plenty of joy right here at home.
Here is the storybook video for Sylvia’s song, “Avalon”: