I remember my youthful summers as a time of reading and exploration — diving into books, seeing new places and rediscovering nearby ones. After listening to Home of Song, the first album of family music from Minnesota singer Paul Spring, I think we spent summers in much the same way.
"Peter Pan" is one of a few tracks that draws inspiration from classic literature, as Peter and Wendy join Sherlock Holmes and Don Quixote as characters in song. Growing up one of 10 children raised by two college literature professors, Spring says they were a family united by reading. They spent many years living along the Mississippi River in Winona, Minn., and so the river itself (and, of course, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn) all make appearances on this album.
Now a high-school English teacher, Spring draws as much inspiration from his own childhood as he does from Mark Twain and Cervantes. Home of Song is an ode to books and stories, and to the families who nurture them. I don't know if the family who reads and sings together stays together, but albums like this one make a convincing argument.