In case you're one of those Dan-naysayers, let me just get this out in the open—ptfffhpt on you. I mean, I think he's great. Better than great. I think he fills that old-fashioned familytime singalong hulabaloo void that, at least when I was a kid, was satisfied by listening to Pete Seeger or Woody Guthrie or even that Leadbelly kids record. All good times and the whole fam enjoyed. I don't think it's great instead of say Wilco (my personal favorite band, you can insert your personal favorite band in here), I think it's in addition to. There are times when my daughter wants to mellow out, there are times when she wants to rock out, there are times when she wants a singalong. The latter is ideal for Mr. Zanes. And he is leaps and bounds above all the other neo-family-folksters in my mind and that is in part to his assured mostly deadpan delivery, his vegan Brooklyn idealism and his funked up hair. And he truly puts on a great show, one that has brought me to tears more than once. It makes you feel a part of something bigger, and that something has your little one so hopped up on a good feeling you can't help but smile till the tears eke out.
The new CD is here, out today, and it's pretty lovely. We've listened to it twice through and Tuesday gives it the thumbs up (oh, literally, that's her favorite thing of late, throwing the thumbs up when she likey-likeys.) They do the Louis Jordin 40s classic, "Ch-Ch-Ch-Boogie." The Scottish folk song "Loch Lomond" with Natalie Merchant, a southern spiritual, a Miriam Makeba song and a tune I know as a Leadbelly standard. There is a lovely Barabra Brousal tune, "Mariposa Ole," a South African tune that's lovely and a handful of Zanes originals. And the big guest star this time? Um, Nick Cave. No, really.
I have to post the track "Walkin' the Dog" since yesterday, coincidently, I posted about Rufus Thomas. Plus, it's possibly my fave of the CD. (No quick judgments just yet, I have only listened to it twice.) I'm not gonna post anymore because I want you to go out and buy this CD. You can download it on eMusic.com too, but then you don't get the lovely packaging and he switched it up a bit this time, it's a fold out thing instead of a book. My husband, the package designer, told me to say that. But he's right.
Dan Zanes and Friends, "Walking the Dog"
As a side note, when I was younger, I loved Asleep at the Wheel's version of "Ch-Ch-Ch-Boogie." I could have posted that song, since I only posted one song today, but instead I'm following my non-linear mind's eye and am gonna post my most favorite Asleep at the Wheel song from my childhood and that is this Death Row ditty:
Asleep at the Wheel, "Last Meal"
More about: Dan Zanes, buy "Catch That Train!", Asleep at the Wheel