Acoustically rockin' your kid's world!




In a Heartbeat is "an instant mood booster!"         Red Tricycle

"Doherty has a friendly, warm voice that lives up to multiple listens. Heartbeat is simple and lovely. I love this CD" - Kathy O'Connell, WXPN-FM Radio, MetroKids Magazine


Shining Like A Star



  Kids In The City



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Acoustic folk-pop artist Laura Doherty really does shine like a star on her second album for children. Her clear, easy-to-understand vocals are the highlight on each of the 13 songs. Her expert guitar skills are joined by instruments such as the banjo, mandolin, ukulele, and button accordion. The songs, most written by Doherty, are a nice combination of upbeat, lively tunes like “Rocket Ship,” where she is joined by delightful children’s voices, and more gentle offerings like “I’m a Tree.” The fantastic “Tap Dance,” featuring Reggio “The Hoofer,” will have children moving and trying to shuffle step and keep the beat. A must-have for children’s music collections.–Veronica De Fazio, Plainfield Public Library District, IL

Laura Doherty Shining Like a Star (Laura Doherty Music)

Rated 4 stars        Doherty honed her acoustic skills for more than a decade as a teacher and Wiggleworms director at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Her second album is symbolic of Chicago’s stellar artist scene, from the whimsical cover art by Laura Berger to her talented troupe of backup musicians. Darling ditties like “Tap Dance,” a throwback to the rollicking jazz of the Roaring Twenties, and the snap-your-fingers “Jake the Snake,” demonstrate Doherty’s true gift—getting even the shyest wallflower to wiggle across the dance floor.

Laurie Berkner is without a doubt the brightest female star in kids music (and quite possibly the biggest star, period), so I've been surprised that there haven't been more artists who've attempted to follow in her footsteps. There are obviously lots of successful female artists, for the most part, however, artists like Elizabeth Mitchell, Frances England, Molly Ledford, and Ashley Albert have taken different paths than Berkner's taken, that of melding bright pop takes on traditonal kids' music with catchy new melodies.

But if your family enjoys Berkner and would like to know if there's more where that came from, the answer is, yes, indeed, Laura Doherty is one of the best artists making music for the preschoolers in your life.


ShiningLikeAStar.jpgOn her second album Shining Like a Star, Laura Doherty plumbs a slightly less traditional, slightly less pop-py line than Charlie Hope, with such as with the wurlitzer-like keyboard on "Rocket Ship," the country/western-dusted "Quiet as a Mouse," or the circus organ on "Ferris Wheel." Like Hope, Doherty's blessed with a clear voice that elevates the material -- her samba take on the Joe Raposo classic "Sing" is excellent.

Targeted at kids ages 2 through 6, the songs on 33-minute album are very preschool-subject-focused ("Hula Hoop" is about, you guessed it, hula hooping), which may eventually limit the number of times you can handle hearing Shining Like a Star with your kids, but it'll take you longer than with most albums to reach that point. That even happens with Laurie Berkner albums eventually.

Even though she reminds me (in a good way) somewhat of Laurie Berkner, Laura Doherty is charting their own course in the kids music world. Even if she never reaches the heights of popular success Berkner has, on their latest albums, Doherty show off their talents in a way suggesting she, too, may be around for years to come. Recommended.

A few month's ago I bought the newest Adele CD. The first time I popped it in the CD player in the car, my 2 year listened to Rolling in the Deep and immediately said "AGAIN!"  I was thrilled; what good musical taste my son had.

But then he kept saying "again" and as talented as Adele is after the bazillionth time through Rolling in the Deep I was going a little cuckoo!

So when I received Laura Doherty's new CD, Shining Like A Star, I was only cautiously optimistic.  We'd tried introducing our little man to new music since he "met" Adele, but with no luck.  But I held my breath, put on Ms. Doherty's CD and waited for "More Adele, mama!"

And it didn't come!

We listened to the whole CD and then we listened again.  And then he started asking for specific songs.  His faves are the "tomato song" (really called Vegetable Party), "snake Jake" (Jake the Snake) and "popcorn" (really called....well...Popcorn). 

We have sung, we've danced and we are happy, because not only is this great kid's music, but it has been really nice for me too!  I love Ms. Doherty's folky voice and her lyrics are so catchy that my 2 year has memorized several of the songs!  In fact, we often hear him singing himself to sleep with one of her songs.

This is our first Laura Doherty CD, but it certainly won't be our last!

Oh, and Adele?  It was nice knowing you.

Chicago Mom Must-Haves

Laura Doherty’s Kids in the City CD
Listen up: Here’s kid music that adults love, too. She’s working on a new album now (go, Laura!), and until it comes out, we’ll bop along with her debut’s bright songs about city living.

July 18, 2011


Laura Doherty: Pajama Party In The Park @ Welles Park, 6/15

There is a fine line in children's music between the monotonously boring and the oh my goodness get me out of here. Laura Doherty however never comes close to this place. She nurtures adults with inner children present, as well as children themselves. With a full understanding of the demand that comes with being a children's performer as well as an adult at a kids show she has the ability to appease all ages. Laura also has a has a massive a quirk factor, (She can be seen wearing a hot dog hat explaining the toppings of a Chicago style hot dog for one of her songs) and refers to "Wheels On The Bus" as the "Freebird" of kid music which is completely correct. Getting the kids groove on in full swing is a task she easily masters and seeing her play is a great way to chill and get silly with fun music.

The former director of the Wiggleworms program at The Old Town School Of Folk Music took a daring leap and decided to go full time at the kids music gig showing an intense passion for bringing joy in the world via sweet folk inspired kids songs. Her latest release Kids In The City has a beautiful cover of the Bachrach classic "Raindrops Keep falling On My Head" which allows everyone to sing along with a smile.

Laura and her band are throwing a Pajama Party this Tuesday in Welles Park to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Wiggleworms! Bring the kids to this one of a kind event where everyone is invited to come in appropriate attire.

The event is all ages and starts at 6:30. Welles Park is located at 2333 W. Sunnyside Ave. For more information call 773-728-6000

 — Aharona Ament / 

Time Out Chicago Jan. 2010

In review of the decade, Laura Doherty is listed as one of the "best things to happen to Chicago kids"! Check out #5.


Dec. 2009

"Kids in the City" was rated one of the Top 10 children's CDs of the year by Time Out NY Kids, Dec. 2009.



9/25/09 Chicago Parent Magazine

KIDS IN THE CITY, by Laura Doherty, Laura Doherty Music, $13.99,; ages 3-7.

I also enjoy recommending new artists, especially when they are Chicago-based. If you are familiar with the early childhood Wiggleworms program at The Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, you are already familiar with Laura Doherty. She is the director of Wiggleworms and has been teaching there f or more than 10 years.

Her new CD is wonderful and as her press materials state, this CD is for the "urban toddler," though children and parents everywhere will delight in these songs. Using Chicago as her inspiration, the CD is filled with fabulous songs about skyscrapers, the L and the zoo.

The first time I heard "Kids In The City" it reminded me of a cross between Laurie Berkner and Ella Jenkins. Pick up the CD, give a listen and see if you agree.

93XRT's Little Rocker Report Thank goodness Laura Doherty was running late for a gig. Sitting on the L that day, Doherty pulled out pen and paper and turned her panic into a children's song about kids living in the city. "That's really the first time I ever wrote a kids' song," says Doherty. Though she'd been teaching young kids about music for 10 years through the Old Town School of Folk Music, she had never tried to write her own material. That train ride blossomed into a 14-song CD, "Kids in the City," filled with Doherty's folksy pop sound, and a new path for Doherty as a children"s musician. She spent a few moments with us talking about the CD. What is the takeaway for kids? Doherty says the CD is geared to kids under 5 at a time when they are learning about colors, counting and basic concepts. She says she built on that by helping them learn about different things happening around their world, such as going to the zoo and at the city skyscrapers. "I think the songs are catchy." What is your philosophy with music and kids? My basic philosophy with making music with kids is to always have fun with it. I've never met a kid who didn’t love music. One of the things I tried to think about when writing these songs is not go over the kids' heads and have melodies that are two complicated. I tried to have a mix of melodies that will catch on to their ear. When I wrote these songs, my hope is that teachers can use it in their classroom. How important is music at this age? It is extremely important to expose kids to music early, even if that is as simple as singing a little lullaby to your baby when they fall asleep. It’s so important to build on their language skills, their motor skills. It’s such a fun and easy way to teach kids, too. Music is for everyone, a belief in my own life and my own class. Her personal favorite song on the CD: "Kitty Cat" because it has a great beat and I play it a lot at shows and can get the kids involved right away. It's a good dance number. Upcoming Chicago shows: She’ll be playing at 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. Sept. 13 at Celtic Fest in Grant Park; 4:30 p.m. Sept. 18 at Uncommon Ground Devon; at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 23 at the Andersonville Farmers Market; and a big show Nov. 7 at the Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave. For more shows and details, visit her Web site. Watch for the review of Doherty's CD by award-winning music reviewer Fred Koch in the October issue of Chicago Parent. To hear samples of the CD, visit Doherty's Web site at
Click here to read Out With the Kids writer Jeff Bogle's review of "Kid in the City"

Sept. 2, 2009

Dig this new CD from Laura Doherty, the Early Childhood Music Program Director at Chicago's famed Old Town School of Folk Music. Kids in the City is full of breezy urban folk tunes featuring the Natalie Merchant-like vibe of Doherty's vocals. Click the link to read the full review.

July 1, 2009

Check out this nice review of Laura and her kids music, from the "Almost Librarian", Valerie Baartz.