“Always There”: A Review and Giveaway of Chris Dorman and Friends’ Newest Album


{Disclaimer: BurlingtonVT Moms Blog has partnered with Music for Sprouts for this sponsored post and giveaway. While we received a form compensation for this, the opinions expressed are entirely our own!}

Always ThereAbout a month ago Nissa, Owner of BVTMB, emailed and asked me if I wanted to review the new Chris Dorman & Friends’ album, “Always There.” Without hesitation, I replied back “Yes!” I then had to reply a second time to ask her the details of the review. Little known fact about our family: we love Chris Dorman, also known to many as Mister Chris. We got a copy of his first CD last summer at the BVTMB Family Fun Day and Caroline has fallen asleep listening to it every night since.

Background of the Album:

Many of you are probably like me, and are very aware of who Mister Chris and his friends are, be it because your children have taken classes with him through Music for Sprouts, or you have seen him play at Bread and Butter Farm or on Tuesdays for free at Buttered Noodles. But in case you do not know him (!): Chris Dorman is the founder of Music for Sprouts, which is located at Bread and Butter Farm in South Burlington, VT where Chris, his wife and two children live. Penzey’s Spice Magazine recently did a beautiful story on the background and start of Bread and Butter Farm and Music for Sprouts.

MisterChris3Although Chris and his friends created “Always There,” it was only possible by the support of our community. In June 2014 Chris started a Kickstarter page to fund the project. The album ended up having more than 240 backers who raised more than $16,000! Chris wrote on the Kickstarter page, “How ‘Always There’ came to fruition is truly an inspiring story. Inspired by our kiddos, farm, and incredible community we will create a children’s album to be shared in homes all across the country.”

The Review:

I love “Always There,” and give it 6 out of 5 stars. Maybe more importantly (because she is the one it is targeted to) Caroline (15 months old) agrees. This album is so much more than most music meant for children. I keep telling people “it’s not ‘the wheels on the bus'” or every other “toddler songs” CDs that are collecting dust on Caroline’s bookshelf because you can only listen to them so many times.

I think what makes this album different than others is that it is obvious that Chris recognizes that children are intelligent, creative and musical individuals who can comprehend and appreciate good music.

If you are familiar with Mister Chris you will be happy to know that some favorites, “Honey Bee” and “Jump Up and Down,” are on the album. As is “Monday Tuesday” (one of my personal favorites), although modifications were made to this one, making it more complete. There are several new songs that are a mix of fun catchy tunes to beautiful messages from parent to child. My favorites are “Our Little Hopping Friends,” “I’ve Still Got You,” and “Wandering Wanda.” Some may be pleasantly surprised to find “House on Pooh Corner” also on the album.

In addition to Mister Chris the album features 20 other musicians, his son and daughter, students from the Schoolhouse and the EWHG 2014 audience. There are elements of big brass band, rock ‘n roll, strings, and ballads throughout the album. I would actually not categorize this album as children’s music, instead I would call it “family-friendly for all ages” music. Chris’s love for his children is clearly his inspiration and is woven throughout his music.

The most genius part of the album is that during live performances the audience becomes Mister Chris’s friends, and we are able to fill in using our voices and bodies to compliment his music.

Caroline, Jason and I went to Mister Chris’ thank you concert in the middle of May at the Schoolhouse. During the concert, something clicked for Caroline and she danced her little heart out to every song. Being in the room during “Wandering Wanda” helping to make the rain was magical.

MisterChris2Maybe it’s just a coincidence, maybe it’s because Caroline is getting older and more aware, maybe it’s because Caroline recently did some music classes with our Rec Department, but since the concert, she seeks out her musical instruments, wants us all to play together and she dances whenever she hears live music (even if it’s when we are doing a 5K to raise money for a good cause). What do I think? I believe that “Always There” is broadening Caroline’s musical horizons and it is leaving a lasting impression on her for years to come.misterchris4

When and Where to buy the Album:

Folks can buy “Always There” at www.musicforsprouts.com/music starting NOW! Even more exciting?? You can get 20% off your order with the sale that runs through today- so hurry and purchase your CD now!

Wondering where you can see Mister Chris in person this summer?

  • Every Tuesday 10am – Buttered Noodles
  • Every Friday 4:30-7:30 – Burger Night @ Bread & Butter Farm
  • Sunday, June 14th 11am – Family Brunch at Healthy Living in South Burlington
  • Sunday, June 21st 6pm – www.parent.co LIVE Streamed Album Release Show
  • Saturday, June 27th 10:30am – Kellogg Hubbard Library in Montpelier
  • Sunday, June 28th 11am – Huntington Public Library
  • Thursday, August 6th 5pm – Summervale at the Intervale Center

Oh and just one more thing! Although I was given the “Always There” album for free to review, we bought two more to give as gifts to friends. We think it’s worth it and recommend it to everyone we know, including YOU!

Ready to win your own copy?? Mister Chris is graciously giving away an album to one lucky reader! Enter the giveaway below for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



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