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Dan Zanes has released
his second CD of family orientated music titled “Family Dance”. Previous
Rocket Ship Revue members Simon Kirke, Rankin’ Don AKA Father Goose, Donald
Saaf and Barbara Brousal are along for the ride again. New comers include
Rosanne Cash, Loudon Wainwright III and Sandra Bernhard among others.
The CD features a mix of traditional family songs and originals by DZ and
others. “Jump Up” is the first song and is a simple guitar and harmonica
number written by DZ. “Rock Island Line” is a Leadbelly song that DZ turns
into a sweet funky number with accordions, upright bass and some incredible
harmony vocals from Barbara Brousal. “Malto” a Barbara Brousal original
is one of many highlights on the disc. A tropical laced, breezy tune with
mandolins, saxophone and the delightful Dandelion Chorus made up of DZ’s
daughter Anna and other school aged children.
Father Goose turns in
“The Hokey Pokey” and “Skip To My Lou”. “Water For The Elephants” features
DZ on lap steel as Donald Saaf plays banjo and George Rush adds some tuba
for good measure. “Fooba Wooba John” features the always-perfect singing
of Rosanne Cash. G. E. Smith adds guitar on this one also. “Thrift Shop”
shows just what a great rock and roll songwriter Dan Zanes is. Slinky guitars
well placed background vocals (by Bernhard, Brousal and Allysa Lamb) and
a chuckle worthy ending makes this the CDs’ stand out track. “The Good
Night Waltz” another DZ penned original ends the disc. A deceptively simple
song with just acoustic guitar and fiddle it’s charm instantly wins you
As with the first CD, “Family Dance”
is packaged as a storybook with delightful drawings of the artists and
images from the songs. While the concept of family style music is a pleasure,
what we’d really like is another Dan Zanes solo or Del Fuegos reunion record
or retrospective set. It’s warranted beyond a doubt. DZ shows by the strength
of his originally written songs that he is back at the top of his game.
Perhaps a CD of all DZ originals isn’t that far off anymore. For more on
Dan Zanes go to www.festivalfive.com.
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