An award-winning force on the pop scene during the '80s, Nicolette Larson returns to music with this album dedicated to her young daughter, Elsie May. The album features original music by Nicolette and songs by Neil Young and Graham Nash, as well as traditionals. When recording this album, Larson was careful not to include sounds that might be too harsh for newborn ears and yet would be pleasant and interesting for toddlers and young children. Sleep, Baby, Sleep is quiet songs for quiet times.
Ronnie Hawkins is known for many things but ballads are not one of them. Bear Family’s 2011 set proves this to be a misconception, illustrating that Hawkins is as adept with a slow burn as he is with a hopping rockabilly beat. Strictly speaking, these aren’t all ballads, at least not in the folk sense: there are plenty of those, but there are bluesy grinds, swaying slow dance crossovers, rolling progressive country, and any number of slow tunes, all of which are handled with ease by Hawkins.
Bear Family’s generous 30-track disc skips through the eras with grace, with simple early-‘60s sides sitting next to slicker ‘70s productions, but the disc never plays schizophrenically; rather, the shifting sounds reveal how Ronnie Hawkins could always deliver a song with unassuming skill.