Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Dan Zanes & Friends|
Catch That Train!
Genres: Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock, Children's Music
With each new Dan Zanes and Friends release, many fans worry that his homespun magic will eventually hit the right note with the masses. Zanes' music, as offbeat as it is organic, is so special to forward-thinking young fa... more »
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With each new Dan Zanes and Friends release, many fans worry that his homespun magic will eventually hit the right note with the masses. Zanes' music, as offbeat as it is organic, is so special to forward-thinking young families that plenty have batted around half-baked plans to attach a password to it. Anybody else can sell out, the thinking goes, but please, please not him. Catch That Train, then, is bound to meet with a lot of hand-wringing. For one thing, it's the first Zanes and Friends release since the crazy-haired, asparagus-stalk thin artist started appearing in videos on the Playhouse Disney channel. For another, Starbucks has stepped in to lend a promotional hand. Those are ominous indicators indeed, but if the largely on-track Catch That Train proves anything, it's that Zanes isn't lock-stepping it with the boardroom goons just yet. Once again, the high-profile collaborators (The Blind Boys of Alabama, Nick Cave, Natalie Merchant) could cause a childless hipster to heed the all-aboard call, but also as on previous discs, it's the usual suspects who supply some of the strongest tracks: Barbara Brousal on "Mariposa Ole," Father Goose on "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie," and the Rubi Theater Company on "Walkin' the Dog." True, "Let's Shake" seems suspiciously TV-ready; skip it and pretend it never happened. Then keep your fingers crossed that, once this train leaves the station, Zanes--plainspoken hero to so many--won't trade it in for a stretch limo. --Tammy La Gorce More from Dan Zanes
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Member CD Reviews
Stefaan L. from WASHINGTON, DC
Reviewed on 9/1/2013...
Sweet like a breath of fresh air or a summer's breeze. A homecoming of sorts after more than three decades of exploring music. Striking the balance between musicianship - skill - and the joy of just playing songs. Never showy, never overproduced, never copy-catting anyone. Spot on.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Another classic CD from Dan Zanes and Friends!
Stephanie Szymonik | Manchester, CT United States | 06/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, I admit we're one of those families that worries about the outcome of Dan Zanes and Friends catching on with the masses, as written about in the editorial review above. It's not that I don't wish him the utmost success. I think everyone around the world should definitely "Catch That Train" (pun intended) with Dan Zanes and Friends (what a great party that would be!). I don't even worry that commercial success will change his organic, homespun magic; it's too much a part of him. I do worry that we'll have to catch the live concert at the Hartford Civic Center instead of the wonderful and intimate performance we saw in Woodstock, CT. If you have a chance to see Dan Zanes and Friends in concert, go!! Their immense talent shines through on every CD, but to see them in person is a treat you won't long forget. Mr. Zanes even kindly and graciously waited after the show to meet and sign autographs for a very long line of fans. I do hope that he'll continue to play the smaller venues once the inevitable masses show up.
But on to this new CD... we love it as much as we love all his other CD titles (and we have them all, including the DVD titled All Around the Kitchen). As with every CD, Dan Zanes generously shares the musical spotlight with a wonderful array of musicians, creating a rich tapestry from different cultures, styles and sounds. The result is another CD that is ageless, timeless and makes you happy every time you listen to it. Tracks like "Welcome Table" with The Blind Boys of Alabama, "Mariposa Ole" with the lovely Barbara Brousal, "Country Life" with Donald Saaf and "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie" with Father Goose are just a few of the highlights. Every track is a winner in our book. I dare you not to sing along or get up and dance! I dare you not to listen and smile from the heart!
The editorial review says to pretend that the track "Let's Shake" never happened but while it may not be a song you'd expect to hear on a Dan Zanes' CD, we still like it. I'm a homeschooling mom of two sweet boys ages 5 and 2. This summer we have 27 friends and neighborhood children joining us on a weekly basis for circle dancing, musical movement and old-fashioned, outdoor games. Rest assured we'll be grooving to "Let's Shake", along with other Dan Zanes' songs.
My only disappointment (and this has nothing to do with the CD) is that my husband downloaded it from iTunes and so we didn't get the booklet with the colorful and whimsical illustrations by Donald Saaf. My boys enjoy looking through the accompanying booklets as much as they do listening to the music. So now I'll have to purchase the CD again, only this time with the booklet.
If this is your first Dan Zanes' CD, you surely won't be disappointed. But don't stop there. Every CD from Dan Zanes and Friends is wonderful in a very special sense. Whether Dan Zanes is collaborating with his talented friends, singing an original song or putting his homespun and unique stamp on a classic, you'll be glad you caught the train. But be forwarned -it's a ride you won't want to end!
You Don't Need Kids to Love a Good Record
J. Chasin | NYC, NY | 05/20/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is kids rock in the same sense that the Beatles were when I was a kid; bright silly happy bouncy sing-songy songs. Nothing free to be, no learning, no deeper meaning; just a bunch of train songs (sample title: "Choo Choo Ch' Boogie.") The musicianship is sublime and oozing with fun; Zanes mixes country, ukelele, African chants, rock'n'roll, Guthrie folk, humor, and above all, always, the shimmy. My 2-year-old daughter got a case of the hippie hippie shakes half way into the first song, and they haven't let up.
Zanes doesn't talk down to kids or tell them to eat broccoli. He isn't like Mr. Rogers at all; more like your kind of cool, thin, sloppy-haired, fun-loving uncle who still reads comic books at 45. Which is, of course, the kind of uncle I've always endeavored to be.