The 13 songs on Maria Muldaur’s first children’s recording, Music On the Sunny Side, all sound imaginative, authoritative, and full of delight. Maybe that’s because Muldaur is such a distinctive stylist. Or maybe it’s because these are such great tunes.
You won’t find ”Midnight at the Oasis” or any of Muldaur’s sultry pop hits among the classics here. From ”Put on a Happy Face” to ”Side by Side,” On the Sunny Side is unrelievedly sunny. All this cheer might have an adverse effect on an adult’s disposition if Muldaur weren’t too sophisticated a stylist to let that happen. The sweeter the song (”Cooking Breakfast for the Ones I Love,” for example), the snappier her delivery.
With jugband instruments and a deliberately unpolished chorus of children’s voices, Sunny has a homespun flavor. But it’s never corny or sappy. You simply can’t listen to this without feeling happy. You can’t listen, in fact, without doing a little soft-shoe in the privacy of your own home. A