Sisters branch out with children’s CD
BY LINDA BLASER firstname.lastname@example.org October 7, 2013 11:17AM
Laura Good and her daughter, Alena, started writing songs together just for children, which eventually led to the new CD "Jump Right In" due out Oct. 1, 2013. | Submitted photo
“Jump Right In”
Who: Laura and Linda Good, twin sisters who grew up in Lake Forest
What: New CD for children, featuring all-new, original songs
When: Due out this month
Where to find: thetwigs.com, iTunes or cdbaby.com
Updated: November 9, 2013 6:02AM
The Twigs are branching out.
Twin-sister musicians, songwriters and singers Linda and Laura Good, Lake Forest natives who credit their mom and their seventh-grade music teacher at Deer Path Middle School with their career choice, have recorded their first CD for children, due out this month.
Although they now live on opposite coasts — Linda on the west and Laura on the east — the Lake Forest High School graduates melded their voices with Laura’s daughter, Alena, 7, to create sing-able music for kids that even parents will enjoy.
As Linda and Laura prepared for their CD release, they spoke with the Lake Forester about how the album came to be. This is an edited version of that conversation:
Q: The Twigs were fixtures on the Chicago alternative pop scene in the late 1990s. Why did you decide to record a kids CD?
Laura: “I was living in Nashville at the time. Having just had a daughter, I didn’t want to tour a lot. It’s a huge songwriter town, so I started playing for kids down there. I didn’t mean to do a whole kids CD — it was for my daughter and for the preschool kids — but I started writing songs. As she got a little bit older, around 4 or 5, she really loved to sing and wanted to write songs with her mom. We started writing these kids’ songs and it just sort of snowballed.”
Linda: “My friends that have kids say that they end up listening to children’s music over and over and over and they get really sick of it — and it’s just not that good. We felt like we could do a really unique, good job with the combination of the two of us and with her daughter’s input, too.”
Q: How is your children’s CD different?
Laura: “It’s really hard to find kids music that the whole family can enjoy that the parents don’t find annoying. That was really our goal: To make music that you could stand listening to after 20 times and wasn’t so geared toward what people think kids will like.”
Linda: “It’s definitely got a wide range, from pop to folk to jazz and a little rock. For example, we cover the traditional song ‘Frere Jacques’ which a lot of kids learn when they’re young. Then we have a song ‘Jump Right In,’ which is sort of a Beach Boys’ surf song. We like to have a lot of styles and influences and just make it fun, so kids can sing along.”
Q: What were some of your musical influences growing up?
Laura: “Our mom, who still lives in Lake Forest, was going to go into a professional music career but dropped that when she had five kids, but she always sang. I think she’s really the most gifted one of all of us. Every night after dinner we literally fought over who got to play the piano or sing first. There was always music around. We’ve also always credited the public school system in Lake Forest because we were able to learn guitar at a very early age, we were in orchestra and all the choirs, and our seventh-grade teacher, Joan Reynolds, was a huge influence, too. She played guitar and wrote songs. I remember both of us in seventh grade saying, ‘This is what we want to do. This is it.’”
Linda: “We grew up the youngest of five girls. Our mother is a great singer and piano player. All of our older sisters played music and sing, so we listened to a wide range of things: whatever our older sisters listened to, old jazz records and musicals, too. My mom led us to the piano and left the room — left us to our own devices. That was, looking back, really important in the process: Letting kids explore their own creativity.”
Q: What is your favorite song on your new CD?
Laura: “If I had to pick one, it would probably be the first song I wrote, something I used to sing to my daughter, ‘Time to Sleep.’ It fills me with bittersweet memories, because she’s 7 now.”
Linda: “I love them all, especially the ones my niece, Alena, sings on. But my favorite is ‘Blueberry Jam,’ which is kind of a jazz song. We all wrote that together. I started with a jazzy piano idea and I started playing it and then we all started riffing on story and lyrics. It was a lot of fun.”
Q: What’s your hope for “Jump Right In?”
Laura: “Our ultimate hope is every kid in the world will get to hear it and for everybody to enjoy it with their kids and their family.”
Linda: “We hope that people will listen to it and listen to it often and just have some really great music to enhance the lives of their kids.