Awards / Reviews

Awards won by Beneath The Cherry Tree

“A lovely folk album, warmed by tender lyrics and the cozy feel of storytelling and music-making on a country porch, from the inspired pairing of two notable talents: singer-songwriter Kare Strong and multi-instrumentalist and singer Josh Goforth. As in their previous album, ‘Rivers of Love’ (2017), the songs here offer listeners a world of beguiling innocence, where a daffodil weathers a storm thanks to its loving helper (‘The Daffodil & the Faery Child’); a mother wistfully reminisces about golden summer days with her young child ‘On our Carolina Farm’; animal friends welcome a newcomer to the neighborhood in the exuberant ‘Party for Pig,’ and ‘The Bluebell and the Boy’ captures a wide-eyed child’s ineffable feeling of wonder and awe when a bluebell, glorying in the morning sun, shares ‘what only flowers know.’ Sheer delight.”

– Lynne Heffley ©2019 Parents’ Choice

Winner of the prestigious Global Music Award

National Parenting Products Award

“What will you find “beneath the cherry tree”? A happy groundhog, a little bluebird, and chickens on Blackberry Lane. There are flowers, fairies and farm critters – including a festive party for a pig. This menagerie of animals, nature and fanciful creatures are all beautifully brought to life through Kare Strong’s exquisite vocals and Josh Goforth (mainly) acoustic instruments. This lovely album’s most impressive accomplishment is that these 14 tunes are all originals. These songs hold such a timeless quality that you’d think the duo has uncovered some great, old traditional English folk and American Appalachian music; however, the reality is that these enchanting tunes are Strong & Goforth’s own creation.”

–NAPPA music judge

Tillywig Toy Award 2019

“Kare Strong and Josh Goforth are at it again, making beautiful music together! This collection of fourteen gorgeously-crafted original songs (penned and sung by Ms. Strong) takes listeners places alternately tender and plaintive, playful and majestic. As with their previous outing, multi-instrumentalist and producer Goforth’s warm, accomplished playing and studio expertise are an essential part of what makes Beneath the Cherry Tree so special. His performances on a host of acoustic instruments help breathe indelible life into the naturalistic themes laid out in the lyrics.

The album contains many a standout, including ‘The Little Tree,’ a song that from its opening notes showcases Ms. Strong’s outstanding songwriting skills and Josh’s remarkable arranging abilities. For pure fun, ‘A Party for Pig,’ with its menagerie of party animals and memorable sing-a-long chorus, can’t be beat. The album closer, ‘Song of the Wind,’ is so achingly lovely the listener feels transported to a sacred space. And while Beneath the Cherry Tree’s overarching theme is nature, its implicit one is connection: to the child within us (no matter our age), to our own vibrant longings and imaginings, and to all creatures, great and small.”

Creative Child Magazine 2109 CD of the Year Award

“Beneath the Cherry Tree is an album of original songs for all ages, featuring Kare Strong’s mellifluous vocals and award-winning fiddler Josh Goforth’s entrancing performance. Brimming with reverence for the beauty of nature … a heartwarming audio experience that the whole family can enjoy together. Highly recommended.”

– Midwest Book Review

Awards won by Rivers Of Love

Winner of a Parents' Choice Silver Honor Award

Winner of a Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award

“This album in the folk tradition from singer-songwriter Kare Strong and gifted musician Josh Goforth is just right for quiet times, painting pictures of fairies, trees and flowers, respect for nature and our connection to it and to each other. Strong’s delicate vocals and Goforth’s accompaniment (including a notably sweet fiddle) turn this poetic gathering of tenderness and whimsy into word pictures that will kindle imaginations, from an unexpectedly meaningful encounter between ‘Two Toads and a Bee’ and an appreciation for ‘So Many Shades of Brown’ (‘In the quills of a porcupine. In an artist’s pencil line …’) to the ‘Faery Dust’ reason that peacocks’ feathers look the way they do (“Peacocks sweep the faerie’s rooms. They use their folded tails for brooms.’)”

~Lynne Heffley   ©2018 Parents’ Choice

National Parenting Products Award

“With Rivers of Love, Strong and Goforth have created a beautiful, bucolic album of acoustic music involving nature, animals, and a fairy or two. Strong, who possesses a lovely lilting voice, wrote the CD’s 14 songs, although they hold a timeless quality of traditional tunes. Goforth, an award-winning fiddler, plays a multitude of instruments, along with doing the animal voices. It is a hard to pick out stand-out individual tracks because the songs flow together so well. With its set of gentle, outdoorsy music, Rivers of Love is a marvelous album that listeners of all ages can love.”

~NAPPA music judge

Tillywig Toy Award 2018

“Rivers of Love captivates listeners young and old with 14 original tunes that range from alluringly beautiful to irresistibly playful. The composer, Kare Strong, sings as gorgeously as she writes. Her vocal melodies weave effortlessly with those of the acoustic instrumentalists who accompany her. The caliber of musicianship is unusually high. Josh Goforth expertly plucks, picks, strums, and bows a wide variety of stringed instruments that include guitar, banjo, mandolin and bass. Laura Boosinger’s vocal harmonies help make the album’s first three cuts something special. Percussionist River Guerguerian plays in such a way as to perfectly serve the mood and feel of each selection on which he performs. Song-wise, there is many a standout, and we would be remiss not to name a few. The title tune is a lovely waltz that conjures vivid imagery of the natural world. The playful lyrics and bouncy rhythms of Two Toads and a Bee get parents and youngsters singing along in no time. Faery Dust mesmerizes with its exotic, almost dreamlike, quality. Rivers of Love is truly an album for the entire family, one whose beauty and playfulness deeply engages children and parents alike.”

Hot Diggity Award 2018

“A wonderful folk album that soothes and entertains. Fans of American music will absolutely love this CD. It’s one of those where, if you’re not paying close attention to lyrics, you’d never know it’s a children’s CD. The music composition appeals to music lovers of all ages.”

What People Are Saying about Rivers Of Love and Beneath the Cherry Tree albums

“Why I love America: there are still folks out there making simple, loving music in the treasured old styles from plainer times. Among them I find Kare Strong, whose ear for timeless melody is flawless. She has produced (with the considerable help of the wonderful Josh Goforth) this delicious album of songs for the family. It’s like making a new best friend.” 

Tom PaxtonGrammy Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

“Rivers of Love” is truly a gem, and a beautiful addition to the world of family music.  The songs are filled with delightful imagery, perfect for sensitive minds. Kare’s songwriting is fun and gentle, with a sweetness that invites kid’s to reflect and imagine. Her voice has a lovely and comforting quality like sitting beside a creek on a sunny afternoon.

It’s also a tour-de-force for Josh Goforth, whose stellar musicianship and thoughtful arrangements shine through every track of this recording. I love it that young listeners get to hear an array of traditional stringed instruments played so tastefully. Thought provoking, imaginative and beautiful music is so important for kids and families to hear these days. Rivers of Love is a lovely album deserving of a large audience, music that will stand the test of time.” 

Timmy AbellAward Winning Children’s Songwriter, Touring and Recording Artist

“If you want to fall in sweet love with the natural world on the winds of whimsy, adventure, and surprise, Beneath the Cherry Tree is for you… This album is pure beauty, filled with gentle reminders of how good it feels to enjoy and respect nature and each other. It is a tender masterpiece that touches me deeply.”
–Dave Kinnoin

“Beneath the Cherry Tree is a showpiece of pure creativity, both in songwriting and in Josh’s exceptional arrangements and musicality.”

“Kare, your view of the world is so beautiful and magical as your voice.”
–Pam Donkin

“Kare brings a much needed voice for hopeful times, harkening back to a more innocent view of the world.”
–Beth Lee

“I immediately fell in love with Kare’s music. Her songs bring out the child in me.”
–Jenny Boyd Bull

“Kare’s music is uplifting to the spirit.” 
–Molly Hueffed

“Your CD is truly wonderful! Your voice sounds great. The arrangements are spectacular, and your songwriting …wow!
— Brian Conway, World Class Irish Fiddler, Touring and Recording Artist, White Plains, NY

“I love, love, love your CD! Your singing is exquisite. The writing pulls you in. The music is beautiful. The arrangements and instrumentation are wonderful. The pacing of the songs is perfect. The harmonies are great. The CD makes me feel happy and safe in the world. I can’t say enough! Congratulations to you and to Josh!”
Karen Holbert, Black Mountain, NC

“Your beautiful, beautiful songs! I love them so, and I was struck by their lyrics. So much appreciation of nature and animals. So much whimsy and affection and sweetness.”
Dr. Beret E. Strong, Boulder, CO

“Oh it is absolutely divine!!! It brings tears to my eyes. Your voice sounds so beautiful and the instruments are so lovely and the lyrics so full of love.”
Sally Simmons, Seattle, WA