Fireflies marks a return to Mister G’s beginnings as a songwriter and musician. Quintessentially American, the album draws from a rich tapestry of roots influences including folk, bluegrass, soul, and vintage country. The music reflects the freedom and excitement of exploring the outdoors in summer, celebrating such iconic pleasures as eating s’mores by the campfire, 4th of July fireworks, paddling a canoe, and family cookouts. The songs also encourage children to see themselves as budding eco-activists connected to all beings on the planet.
Co-produced, recorded, and mixed with Grammy-winner Dean Jones, Fireflies recalls a simpler, more optimistic era when children spent hours of unstructured time playing outdoors. Recorded with a small group of friends and collaborators, the album is a testament to the organic beauty of hand-played instruments, including fiddle, pedal steel, mandolin, banjo, upright bass, and acoustic guitar. One would be hard pressed to say whether this masterful collection of exquisitely rendered songs will be cherished more by kids or their parents.
Much of the album was written and recorded in Mister G’s studio in the woods of western Massachusetts, including a memorable session with Charmaine Neville. Neville’s gospel-infused vocals on the songs “Sweet Summertime” and “S’mores” provide a link to her hometown of New Orleans and her direct lineage to The Neville Brothers. Award-winning children’s musician Lucy Kalantari contributes lovely harmonies on “Fireflies,” “Me and You,” and “Moonbeams,” while acclaimed Americana performer Ruth Ungar unleashes her fiddling prowess on “Together as One” and “Big Old World.”