A Mind of Your Own is the debut release from The Bright Siders, the duo of acclaimed songwriter and musician Kristin Andreassen and NYC child psychiatrist Kari Groff, MD. Brimming with uplifting and empowering songs, the album invites its listeners to think deeply on feelings and emotions that come with growing up, while focusing on resilience and mindset. Along with a slew of all-star guests including Ed Helms, The War and Treaty, Oh Pep!, The Hokes (a.k.a. Punch Brothers), Gaby Moreno, and more, The Bright Siders bring profound sensitivity and vivacity to songs about friendship, bullying, anger, acceptance of others, and coping with sadness and change. This music is sure to spark meaningful conversations and bring families closer as they explore the beauty and complexity of their emotional lives together.
Evaluation comments by our NAPPA Awards Music Judge:
“You don’t ordinarily find a musical duo composed of a folk musician and a child psychologist, but The Bright Siders is no ordinary duo. It features Nashville-based songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Kristin Andreassen and Brooklyn-based, fiddle-playing MD Kari Groff. The 19 tracks on their captivating debut album typically alternative between songs and skits. The skits last long enough to set up the next song’s theme but not so long as to belabor the message. The Bright Siders touch upon child-relevant topics like making new friends (“Forever Friends”), coping with failure (“Oops! I Made a Mistake”), learning a new language (Vamos a Jugar, Let’s Go Play”), dealing with emotions (“The Mad Day” and the exceptional “Sad Is Not Forever”), and just being a kid nowadays (Jumping Through Hoops” and “You Do You”). Many songs are sung to buoyant old-time-inspired string music, which gives the album a sunny, upbeat vibe. A Mind of Your Own turns more electric towards the end, culminating with an awesome anti-bully anthem “Bully This,” gleefully delivered punk rock-style by The Hokes (aka the all-star bluegrass outfit, The Punch Brothers). The entire album is brightened up by an array of acclaimed Americana performers: Kaia Kater, Oh Pep!, The War and Treaty, Gaby Moreno, Joey Ryan, and Chris Eldridge, as well as comedian/bluegrass enthusiast Ed Helms. Released by Smithsonian/Folkways, A Mind of Your Own is filled with wonderful music and wonderful messages, easily earning it a place among the classic recordings that this label is known for. “