Whatzup
Majic Miracle Music
Various Artists

by D.M. Jones miracle

Fort Wayne's Majic 95.1 WAJI radio station and local audio retailer and recording studio Sweetwater Sound recently teamed up to record and broadcast several one-of-a-kind acoustic performances by national artists, with proceeds going to the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. The resulting collection of songs from such luminaries as Jars of Clay, Smash Mouth, Nick Lachey, Gin Blossoms and Landon Pigg among many others is a top-notch treat full of alternate versions and new material.

Gin Blossoms break out the acoustic guitars and tambourine for a stripped-down (but still energized) version of "Learning the Hard Way," while Landon Pigg's stellar, intimate take of "Can't Let Go" will please fans of all things Coldplay.

Jars of Clay are in their element in the acoustic setting; they shine on the stately and passionate "Work." Smash Mouth take a different tack, applying their pop-funk skills and high-octane pop approach to "Story of My Life." The rhythmic underpinnings of "Exit to Exit" allow Ryan Cabrera to bust out a winning chorus, while a more somber but no less captivating Josh Kelley turns in a great version of "Just Say the Word."

Bob and Tom fave Heywood Banks builds up a Beatlesque groove on "Good Morning Bluebird," which, predictably, ends unpredictably (and hilariously). Dan Nightingale's "Wait on the Bridge" is beautifully evocative and timeless, while the sole electric track on the album, Ryan Hirschy's "Love Never Fails," packs a powerful and positive punch.

The disc, already a star-studded bargain, wraps up with an extra special bonus track. A sweet version of "The Green Grass Grew All Around" is performed by Riley Hospital Music Therapist Ann Hannan and Bailey Hunserger, a patient at Riley.

The disc's cover art and insert features Aleigha Sweet, a four-year-old Riley patient from Fort Wayne who's crazy about pink. It's a poignant and revealing look into what Riley provides and what a great cause the purchase of this disc will contribute to.

You can find Majic Miracle Music at Anchor Books, Anne's Hallmark stores, Borders and Mitchell Books, as well as at Sweetwater's retail store. For online info, go to www.waji.com, www.sweetwater.com/feature/majic-miracle/ and www.rileykids.orgmation.

Copyright 2006 Ad Media Inc.