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Family Dance
Family Dance
by Dan Zanes and Friends

If Bob Dylan had ever made a children's CD, it would have sounded like this. Dan Zane's album is a collaboration of bluegrass, folk, rock, foreign songs, and some his originals. The songs feature Zanes' distinctive voice and electric guitar, as well as children's voices on select songs, and acoustic guitar, harmonica, drums, accordion, bass, mandolin, banjo, tuba, lap steel, fiddle, and concertina. This is great for singing in the car or dancing around at playtime.

Age: 5 Year-olds | Title: Family Dance  |  Artist: Dan Zanes and Friends  |  Label: Festival Five Records

If Bob Dylan had ever made a children's CD, it would have sounded like this. Dan Zane's album is a collaboration of bluegrass, folk, rock, foreign songs, and some his originals. The songs feature Zanes' distinctive voice and electric guitar, as well as children's voices on select songs, and acoustic guitar, harmonica, drums, accordion, bass, mandolin, banjo, tuba, lap steel, fiddle, and concertina. This is great for singing in the car or dancing around at playtime.

The range of musical exposure on this album is expansive. The songs range from The Goodnight Waltz - which beings simply with just voices and an electric guitar for the first verse before a fiddle joins in the next verse - to an all-instrumental upbeat bluegrass jig, Flower of Edinburgh. Skip to My Lou, led by 'Father Goose', may be the hippest version of the song you've ever heard, and In the Evening challenges listeners with drastic tempo changes between verses. Thrift Shop is another catchy rock song-turned-humorous when we hear Danny discussing with a friend some crazy pants he found at a thrift shop - but he learns they were actually a tablecloth! Linstead Market displays fun sounds with a banjo, bongos, and singers with Jamaican accents (The Sandy Girls), while Malti features Barbara Brousal and Danny singing in another language. Jump Up sounds like it could be Bob Dylan singing, and it even features a harmonica and guitar.

The CD comes tucked away in the final page of a small board book with several pages of busy cartoon scenes; the pages have no words, and are wonderful for getting lost in while listening to the CD. You and your child can decide which picture best matches the mood and feel of each song. For those who want to join right in with the CD, they can sing the silly, "Cock-a-doodle-doodle-do" after every line in All Around the Kitchen , or the circus animals sounds and "Who, who, who ing" with the owl in Water for the Elephants. Those really ready to move around can learn a rock-rap version of the Hokey Pokey from Father Goose, who reminds them, "There's no hokey without pokey!"

My five-year-old friend, Nick, likes that this CD doesn't sound like a children's CD at all - it sounds like could be on the radio! The song, Yo-Yo Sweet Yo-Yo, was Nick's first introduction to beat boxing, and he was amazed! He asked me what instrument was making those sounds, because he couldn't figure it out. I explained that some people know how to do that all with their mouth. He's been trying to beat box ever since and, hopefully, will get better with time as he currently spits more than he 'beats'.

--Audra

Dan Zanes was a member of the Del Fuegos throughout the eighties, making four albums and the hit single, "Dont Run Wild" with the band. After moving to New York with his wife and daughter, Zanes released the hit album, Rocket Ship Beach (2000). In 2001, Zanes released the album, Family Dance featuring Loudon Wainwright III and Roseanne Cash, among other guest singers.

1. Jump up (1:45)

2. Rock Island Line (2:47)

3. Malti (2:51)

4. The Hokey Pokey (3:08)

5. Water For The Elephants (3:02)

6. Linstead Market (3:00)

7. Fooba Wooba John (2:55)

8. Wonder Wheel (3:20)

9. Yo-Yo Sweet Yo-Yo (3:39)

10. All Around the Kitchen (2:50)

11. Flowers of Edinburgh (1:55)

12. Thrift Shop (3:38)

13. Skip To My Lou (3:21)

14. The Good night Waltz (3:19)

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