Laura Doherty
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Laura Doherty

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF
Band Folk Acoustic


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"Review Two-Fer: Charlie Hope and Laura Doherty"

Review Two-Fer: Charlie Hope / Laura Doherty

Laurie Berkner is without a doubt the brightest female star in kids music (and quite possibly the biggest star, period), so I've been surprised that there haven't been more artists who've attempted to follow in her footsteps. There are obviously lots of successful female artists, for the most part, however, artists like Elizabeth Mitchell, Frances England, Molly Ledford, and Ashley Albert have taken different paths than Berkner's taken, that of melding bright pop takes on traditonal kids' music with catchy new melodies.

But if your family enjoys Berkner and would like to know if there's more where that came from, the answer is, yes, indeed, as Charlie Hope and Laura Doherty are two of the best artists making music for the preschoolers in your life.

Songs, Stories and Friends: Let's Go Play!, Hope's third album for families, mixes traditional tunes ("Wheels on the Bus," "Ants Go Marching," "Robin in the Rain") with some of the shiniest pop tunes you'll hear this year. "Best Friends" and "One That I Love" are sparkly and joyful, with Hope's bright, clear voice carrying the tune. Caspar Babypants repays the favor of Hope dueting on his recent album by helping out with "Alouette," while Hope's mom tells the story of "The Bear Family." Perhaps the best track might be the kicky "What I Like To Do," which uses kids' voices to great effect as individual kids sing about what they like to do, punctuated at the end with Hope singing "What I like to do / is sing songs for kids."

There's little to dislike about the album, though it sounds to me like Hope's voice gets auto-tuned a bit, not like Cher in "Believe," but just slightly more than I like to hear (and Hope probably needs). Aside from that personal bugaboo, I like the album a lot. It's 45 minutes long, targeted at kids ages 2 through 5.

On her second album Shining Like a Star, Laura Doherty plumbs a slightly less traditional, slightly less pop-py line than Hope, with such as with the wurlitzer-like keyboard on "Rocket Ship," the country/western-dusted "Quiet as a Mouse," or the circus organ on "Ferris Wheel." Like Hope, Doherty's blessed with a clear voice that elevates the material -- her samba take on the Joe Raposo classic "Sing" is excellent.

Targeted at kids ages 2 through 6, the songs on 33-minute album are very preschool-subject-focused ("Hula Hoop" is about, you guessed it, hula hooping), which may eventually limit the number of times you can handle hearing Shining Like a Star with your kids, but it'll take you longer than with most albums to reach that point. That even happens with Laurie Berkner albums eventually.

Even though they remind me (in a good way) somewhat of Laurie Berkner, Charlie Hope and Laura Doherty are charting their own course in the kids music world. Even if they never reach the heights of popular success Berkner has, on their latest albums, both artists show off their talents in a way suggesting they, too, may be around for years to come. Recommended.
- Zooglobble

"Laura Doherty - Pajama Party in the Park"

There is a fine line in children's music between the monotonously boring and the oh my goodness get me out of here. Laura Doherty however never comes close to this place. She nurtures adults with inner children present, as well as children themselves. With a full understanding of the demand that comes with being a children's performer as well as an adult at a kids show she has the ability to appease all ages. Laura also has a has a massive a quirk factor. She can be seen wearing a hot dog hat explaining the toppings of a Chicago style hot dog for one of her songs and refers to "Wheels On The Bus" as the "Freebird" of kid music which is completely correct. Getting the kids groove on in full swing is a task she easily masters and seeing her play is a great way to chill and get silly with fun music.

The former director of the Wiggleworms program at The Old Town School Of Folk Music took a daring leap and decided to go full time at the kids music gig showing an intense passion for bringing joy in the world via sweet folk inspired kids songs. Her latest release Kids In The City has a beautiful cover of the Bachrach classic "Raindrops Keep falling On My Head" which allows everyone to sing along with a smile.

Laura and her band are throwing a Pajama Party this Tuesday in Welles Park to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Wiggleworms! Bring the kids to this one of a kind event where everyone is invited to come in appropriate attire.

The event is all ages and starts at 6:30. Welles Park is located at 2333 W. Sunnyside Ave. For more information call 773-728-6000 -

"Chicago-Mom Must-Haves"


Chicago Mom Must-Haves
Don't Leave Home Without Them


If it weren’t for the summer, you wouldn’t live here. If it weren’t for the winter, you wouldn’t have all that time to think about what to take when you finally leave the house. Here’s our list of don’t-leave-home-without-them favorites.

CleanWell Hand-Sanitizing Wipes
Call us germaphobes, but we don’t hit Lincoln Park Zoo without packing these individually wrapped all-natural wonders ($13).

Alphabeasties Amazing Activities Book
To reduce the risk of at-the-table meltdowns, we pack activity books. Our favorite: this sticker- and maze-filled marvel ($9).

Bumbleride Indie Twin Stroller
The light, smooth Bumbleride ($679) is perfect for anybody with two under the age of 4. And, yes, it fits through shop doorways without problems.

July 18, 2011
Laura Doherty’s Kids in the City CD
Listen up: Here’s kid music that adults love, too. She’s working on a new album now (go, Laura!), and until it comes out, we’ll bop along with her debut’s bright songs about city living. - Daily Candy Kids

"CD Review-Chicago Parent Mag."

KIDS IN THE CITY, by Laura Doherty, Laura Doherty Music, $13.99,; ages 3-7.

I also enjoy recommending new artists, especially when they are Chicago-based. If you are familiar with the early childhood Wiggleworms program at The Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, you are already familiar with Laura Doherty. She is the director of Wiggleworms and has been teaching there f
or more than 10 years.

Her new CD is wonderful and as her press materials state, this CD is for the "urban toddler," though children and parents everywhere will delight in these songs. Using Chicago as her inspiration, the CD is filled with fabulous songs about skyscrapers, the L and the zoo.

The first time I heard "Kids In The City" it reminded me of a cross between Laurie Berkner and Ella Jenkins. Pick up the CD, give a listen and see if you agree.
- Fred Koch-Chicago Parent 9/25/09

"CD Review Time Out NY Kids"


The Sound: Folk music for city folks. A warm, familiar sounding record perfect for toddlers and pre-schoolers.

In the Cafeteria, They Sit With: Frances England, Little Miss Ann, John and Mark (of John and Mark's Children's Record).

Best Moments: Doherty's covers of Robert Johnson's "Sweet Home Chicago" and Burt Bacarach's classic "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" are outstanding. I think I prefer her interpretations of these songs more than the originals. The last 15 seconds of "Kitty Cat" is nothing but clapping, a few kids singing along and an adorable meow - it's a lovely ending to a very cute song. "Rockin' at the Zoo", with it's pronounced upright bass and horns, would sound sweet inside a kiddie jazz club - should such a venue exist.

Bonus Thoughts: Watch the video for "Hot Dog" and take a tour of Chicago and Wrigleyville. Warning: you may find yourself salivating at the site of a real Chicago hot dog being constructed - have some munchies nearby.

Okay, Time to Wrap it Up with a Nice Little Bow: There isn't anything on "Kids in the City" that will shock or amaze you. After all, songs about animals, colors and trains aren't exactly going to set the world on fire. Usually, they're not enough to warrant a review here but, and here's the important part, Ms. Doherty spins these kiddie music staples into what essentially amounts to a collection of love songs about her hometown of Chicago. As I mentioned at least a couple times on OWTK over the past few years, there's little I love more than a touching ode to one's abode - David Tobocman's "Home", John Prine's "My Darlin' Hometown", Josh Ritter's "Idaho" - all of 'em gorgeous reflections on what it means to have a place to call your own. With "Kids in the City", Laura Doherty has made an entire album that feels as comfortable as your favorite spot on the sofa, in your favorite place on earth - Home.
- Jeff Bogle - "Out With the Kids"

"CD Review from NYC Children's Librarian"

Dig this new CD from Laura Doherty, the Early Childhood Music Program Director at Chicago's famed Old Town School of Folk Music. Kids in the City is full of breezy urban folk tunes featuring the Natalie Merchant-like vibe of Doherty's vocals. She had musical help from Scott Besaw on drums, Amalie Smith on upright bass, Rob Newhouse on lead guitar, Susan Marques on banjo, Barb Burlingame on trumpet, Skip Landt on harmonica, and Rick Rankin on percussion and melodica, who also produced, recorded, and mixed Kids in the City.

Doherty's album is a musical tribute of sorts to The Windy City: elevators and escalators, the zoo, public transportation, the farmer’s market, traffic, and hot dog stands all get a shout out on Kids in the City. "I Spy" references Lake Michigan and taxis, "Hot Dog" celebrates sport peppers and celery salt, the a cappella "Wheels in the City" catalogs things that roll around big city sidewalks, and "El Train" is a self-explanatory tune about Chicago's famous clickety clackin' mode of transportation.

Kids in the City is full of the sights and sounds of preschoolers' lives: "I Spy" explores the colors all around us, "Farmer's Market," with its simple vocals and banjo arrangement, has fun with names of fruits and vegetables, while "Rockin' at the Zoo" catalogs the animals you might see and hear there. And check out the wonderful melodies of "Hello Hippopotamus," "I Spy," and "Kitty Cat" (which is vaguely reminiscent of The Chordettes' "Lollipop").

Doherty's album contains a couple of future kids' classics, too. "Uncle Ukulele's Band" has instruments represent members of the family, and sounds as if it could have been featured on The Muppet Show, while the very Ella Jenkins-like “Wheels in the City” is a call-and-response, a cappella tune, with overlapping melodies and vocal lines.

And Kids in the City includes two covers I’ve never heard on a children’s album before: a quiet and tender rendition of Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head,” and a chooglin’ version of Robert Johnson’s “Sweet Home Chicago."

Laura Doherty's Kids in the City is a great example of modern urban folk. Now I gotta go get a Chicago dog and a chocolate malt. - Warren Truitt - "Kids Music That Rocks"

"Time Out Chicago - Best of Decade"

In review of the decade, Doherty is listed as one of the best things to happen to Chicago Kids!
-Judy Sutton-Taylor
Jan. 6, 2010 - Time Out Chicago


• "Shining Like a Star" ©2011, (kids/family) self-released CD

• "Old MacDonald" single ©2011 Produced for Disney English, a division of Walt Disney Co.

•"Kids in the City" © 2009 (kids/family), self-released CD
-Parent's Choice, and NAPPA award-winner

• Recorded vocals on several CDs for Disney English School in China, for Disney Sound label. ©2008

• "Wiggleworms Love You" CD ©2005 (kids/family), co-producer and performer, Bloodshot Records ©2005

• "Songs for Wiggleworms" CD
(kids/family), performer, Bloodshot Records, ©1999

3 self-released CDs for adults:
• "Days Without Maps" ©2000 (solo)
• "Well of Wishes" ©2004 (Sweet Hello)
• "Pause and the Rest" ©2008 (Sweet Hello)

•Old Town School of Folk Music, Songbook CD, Bloodshot Records ©2007 vocal/guitar on "Colours"

Sirius/XM Radio "Kids Stuff"
Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child -WRSI 93.9 FM The River, Northampton, MA
Gooney Bird Kids Radio
Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl, WAWL, Chattanooga, TN
Hilltown Variety Show, Northampton, MA
KDHX "Musical Merry-go-Round", St. Louis, MO



“Laura Doherty is one of the best things of the decade to happen to Chicago
kids” - Judy Sutton Taylor, Time Out Chicago

--Sept. 12, 2011--
Laura Doherty, Chicago’s pop sweetheart for kids, releases her long awaited second children’s album, “Shining Like A Star,” Sept. 27, 2011!

Laura’s musical adventures first took us into the world of big-city-living, as seen through a child’s eyes, with her debut Parent’s Choice award-winning CD “Kids in the City” in 2009. With an ear for a catchy melody, she takes us on a whole new adventure that explores the ways that children and families have fun together.

Laura teamed up again with award-winning producer Rich Rankin of Mosaic Music, and much like “Kids in the City”, her signature, breezy folk-pop sound fills the record, with sweet harmonies and acoustic instruments. “Shining Like a Star” shines with Chicago talent, featuring nationally-known kids rocker Ralph Covert (of Ralph’s World) singing vocals on the title track, and tap dance sensation Reggio “the Hoofer” McLaughlin, collaborating on a tune as well.

Songs like title track, “Shining Like a Star” celebrate the myriad of ways that children express themselves and celebrate their uniqueness in the world. Often painting a story in her music, Laura sings about the wonders of nature in songs like “I’m a Tree” and “Vegetable Party”. Together with fun dance tunes like “Hula Hoop”, and “Rocket Ship”, these songs are part of an uplifting and inspiring new album for children and parents to enjoy together!

Laura and her band kick off a series of midwest family shows this Fall, with a CD Release Concert at Martyrs in Chicago Oct. 1, 2011, 12pm.

Before producing her own original children’s music, Laura co-produced Old Town School of Folk Music’s “Wiggleworms Love You,” CD (2005), and in the past 3 years has recorded educational songs for Disney English, a division of Walt Disney Company.

Laura found her place in the acoustic-folk world early on, picking up the guitar at age 16. Originally from Westchester, NY, she came to Chicago after college and soon joined the teaching staff of the Old Town School of Folk Music, where folk legends like Roger McGuinn of the Byrds honed his guitar style. For over a decade, Laura was the Director of the Old Town School’s early-childhood Wiggleworms program. In 2009 she took a daring leap and decided to go full-time with kids’ music, showing an intense passion for creating sweet folk-inspired songs for children and families.

For further information or interviews, contact:
Email: Phone: 773-220-3432 Website:

Awards and accolades for “Kids in the City”:
2009 GOLD Parent’s Choice Award
2009 GOLD Nappa Award
Time Out NY Kids Magazine - rated a top 10 kids CD of 2009