Katy Bowser: Coal Train Railroad


“Kids deserve good music too.” That’s the philosophy behind the fantastic new record from Katy Bowser, Chris Donohue, and friends, Coal Train Railroad. Continuing in the grand tradition of great jazz music for kids like A Charlie Brown Christmas and the Peanuts specials, Katy has made a record with some of the best jazz players in Nashville with lyrics that kids – and adults – will love to sing along with. With titles like Belly Button, I Need a Nap, and Snuggling, you know you’re in for a good time.

Here’s what Katy wrote on her blog about the project:
“After many years of dreaming, writing, tweaking, recording and planning, we are releasing Coal Train Railroad on Thanksgiving Day. It’s great jazz for kids! Coal Train is a collaboration between Katy Bowser and Chris Donohue. It’s music about kid stuff- juice, snuggling, naps, getting along, sharing- with music that we can all enjoy together.”

I can’t wait to play this record for my friends’ kids and hear them running around the house, singing along with My Mouth and Me, trying to make all the same noises that are on the record, or snuggling close while listening to some of the slower songs. One of Katy’s friends said it best: “Buy one for each child in your life. If there are no children in your life, get a new life.”

I could have spent the whole blog post talking about how great Katy’s melodies are on this project. I haven’t been able to get I Need a Nap or What’s Mine is Yours out of my head since I first heard them. And the music, wow. Jeff Coffin, the saxophone player for the Grammy award-winning Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, currently on tour with the Dave Matthew Band, has some great solos here, and Rod McGaha’s trumpet tones are the perfect accompaniment. A friend of mine, Scott Hallgren, who has worked with Donna Summer, Elton John, Margaret Becker, and Fernando Ortega, just to name a few, is also a great jazz pianist, and his voicings support Katy’s voice beautifully.

If you pre-order Coal Train Railroad before Thanksgiving, you get an immediate download of two songs, plus a bonus track on Thanksgiving. Time’s running out, so place your order soon.


  1. Curt McLey


    I have enjoyed the music of Katy Bowser since Longing. It makes sense that she would record a record featuring a jazz vibe. Her distinctive voice reminds me of the jazz era. I can totally hear her voice as the soundtrack for a movie from the 40s or early 50s. Children’s music can immortalize an artist in the mind of a child. My son was raised on children’s music from Jim Salestrom and knows every word of those songs. I regret that he wasn’t young enough to catch the wave on Andrew Peterson and Randall Goodgame’s Slugs & Bugs & Lullabies, and now Coal Train Railroad from Katy Bowser. Thankfully, one can still appreciate songs like these if he is young at heart.

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