MP3 Michael William Harrison & Linda King - For Kids Of All Ages
A collection of “children’s” songs from the Celtic community that are also loved by adults; you may very well want to sing along with these toe-tapping, up-beat folk songs.
12 MP3 Songs
KIDS/FAMILY: Kid Friendly, FOLK: Traditional Folk
At the Urchin Street children’s stage during the 2005 North Texas Irish Festival it became known that I was planning
to embark on a recording project for children. Someone in the audience yelled out that Linda King was going to do
the same thing and suggested that we record one together – there was much applause following that suggestion and a seed was sewn. Linda and I met at a local Dallas eatery a few months later to “discuss” the idea and walked away with
a plan in hand. We have known each other and crossed paths for years - I as a solo folkie and Linda as the leader of
the band Amberhawke; however, we had never sung or recorded together and that was about to change.
This recording project is not Michael “with” Linda; nor, is it Linda “with” Michael. This is a collection of songs for
“kids of all ages,” conceived of, put together, arranged, changed and rearranged by the two of us working together
with a high level of respect for each other and a love for the music, the songs and the children. Some of the ideas to do things or not do things were Linda’s and some were mine; but, the best idea to come out of the whole project was the one we shared without discussion – to have children singing on the CD too.
As it turned out, most of the kids came from St. John’s Episcopal School of Dallas and ranged in age from three years to fourteen. They did not comprise a music class, though, some are members of different music classes; and, they did not spend weeks, even days working on the material. Linda and I got the children together on a vacation day morning, spent two hours going over the songs with the kids and had Travis Ener and his mobile recording studio record the children singing to a track of Linda and I – that was it. We went in at 10:00am and we were done by 3:00pm. And guess what happened? The children took some pretty good songs, threw in their hearts and souls and simply turned the songs into magical pieces. Give it a listen and see if you don’t want to tap your toes and sing along – even a little bit.
So exactly who is Linda King? And who is Michael William Harrison? Well, read on and discover…
Linda King is a founding member of, Amberhawke, a Dallas-based Celtic group that has been performing at pubs, Ren-Faires and Celtic Festivals across the state of Texas for the past fifteen years or so. A professional musician since the age of ten when she began singing folk music for women’s and church groups; Linda, the alto of Amberhawke, plays guitar and piano, crafts the vocal arrangements, writes original songs, and keeps the rest of the group in line. She has studied and sung a variety of musical styles including classical, pop and gospel and composes in a variety of genres.
Linda is also a founding member of the much sought after Victorian Christmas ensemble - Under the Mistletoe. A polished solo performer she has sung at festivals from Texas to California to Ohio and back. On children’s stages, performing under the name of Lady Amber, Linda has used her unique blend of storytelling and song to introduce
young audiences to Celtic history in schools, festivals, museums and libraries. Linda’s prior recordings include a solo CD, a Christmas album and several recordings at the helm of Amberhawke.
Michael William Harrison is now in his sixth year as a folksinger of American, Irish and Scottish folksongs. Michael cut his music teeth in Detroit some time back as a singing drummer working with folk music icon, Michael Smith (“The Dutchman”). The mid-seventy’s demise of many of the folk music rooms left him in search of a new direction and in 1977 he headed for Texas.
In 1998, after several years in and out of country-rock bands Michael decided to follow his heart and return to folk music – as a solo performer. “It was about this time that I saw Riverdance,” he said, “and was simply moved. As a kid growing up in Detroit, individual heritage was not something we carried around; but, it was understood in my family that we were Irish and English and I now know that my great-grandmother came from Dunmore in County Galway. Riverdance brought my Irish spirit rushing to the surface and I wanted to embrace that heritage. Since I was just starting out as a solo folksinger, singing Irish folksongs was a logical avenue, besides – I can’t dance a lick.”
Michael can be found performing at pubs, festivals, coffeehouses and house concerts from Dallas/Ft. Worth across Texas and the U.S. A few years back Michael co-produced “Into The West: Celts In Texas,” - a musical look at the trail connecting Celtic folksongs to Texas; and, he was also chosen to perform on a special Kerrville Folk Festival radio documentary series presented by Austin’s NPR affiliate KUT. Michael performs songs that frequently come with stories and tales dealing with the history of the song, or – history itself. Michael Harrison has opened the evening for such well known Celtic bands as Brother, Seven Nations and Scotland’s own – Battlefield Band.
Tom Knapp of Rambles Magazine wrote, “Michael William Harrison is the sort of authentic folk artist who keeps the genre alive and kicking. This is the core of folk music, just a singer and his music. If we don''t keep musicians like Michael William Harrison sitting on their stools and strumming their guitars, all the big band projects around won''t keep folk music alive.”
Note: by the way, we finished “For Kids Of All Ages” just in time to debut it at the 2006 North Texas Irish Festival. We also got real lucky when several of the “kids” were able to be on stage with us to perform the songs live.
Here is the write-up we did for the NTIF program about our children’s shows on the Urchin Street stage:
At NTIF on the Urchin Street stages, come Micheal and Linda with songs for all ages. There are songs about things we can see and can touch, like ponies and bats and fishmongers and such. We’ll sing other songs that you can sing too, about dragons and bears, and a couple of saints,
yes – two! There’s a song of a garden and a crow in a tree, wise words from mom and a ship on the sea. So come all ye children it’s Urchin Street time – let’s sing and be merry, let’s dance and let’s rhyme.
Thanks for your time,
Linda King, Michael William Harrison – and “The Kids”