Night Timeby Dan Zanes
Dan Zanes has certainly come a long way from those sepia-toned days in the '80s, when he fronted boozy alternative rockers the Del Fuegos. The new millennium found him trying to reconcile the seemingly disparate strands of family life (as a devoted father) and his artistic ambitions. He solved the conundrum by recording "family-friendly" albums in his basement and releasing them on his own label. These are clearly songs aimed at kids -- but they are well crafted enough to be equally enjoyable for adults. For this album, Zanes sought to undertake some themes that evoked the night, and, as usual, he enlisted a stellar cast of "friends" to help round out his muse. The result is a gorgeously reflective work for all ages. One listen to "Night Owl," which pits Zanes' gentle, rootsy vocals atop a languid country- blues acoustic figure, offers clear evidence of this music's broad appeal. Zanes, supported by Aimee Mann's guest vocals, even adds owl hoots for the kids -- yet the track is sturdy enough that it wouldn't be out of place on a Steve Earle album. Another highlight is a wildly original interpretation of Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World," with guests Lou Reed and the beatboxers
appers of the Rubí Theater Company. Old punker John Doe (of X) even comes out for the kids, teaming up with Zanes on Woody Guthrie's "So Long (It's Been Good to Know You)." Dar Williams also pops up on a stirring, mystery-laden version of the traditional "Wild Mountain Thyme." Despite the homespun nature of these projects, major publications (Billboard, the New York Times) have been taking notice and offering raves. Night Time is clear evidence why. Zanes is onto something special with his non-patronizing, well-intended family tunes. It wouldn't be out of place to call this adult alternative music for kids. Paradoxical for sure, but this is good stuff for hip moms and dads to listen to when the kids aren't even around.
- Release Date:
- Festival Five Rec.
Performance CreditsDan Zanes Primary Artist,Banjo,Guitar,Harmonica,Mandolin,Percussion,Electric Guitar,Electric Piano,Vocals,12-string Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Lou Reed Vocals
Aimee Mann Vocals
Dar Williams Vocals
Paul Bryan Bass
Neil Campbell Tap Dance
Charlie Giordano Accordion
John Hagen Saxophone
Simon Kirke Drums
Jerry Marotta Drums
Barbara Brousal Guitar,Percussion,Vocals
Rob Friedman Percussion,Vocals,Pump Organ,Wurlitzer
Jason DiMatteo Bass
George Rush Tuba
Diane Stockwell Fiddle,Harmonica,Vocals
Joaquin Garcia Rap,Beat Box
Wayne "Rankin Don" "Father Goose" Rhoden Vocals
Technical CreditsDan Zanes Producer,Engineer
Rob Friedman Engineer
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This is one of the best CDs we have bought since our son was born (now 16 months). Now we own House Party and I'm going to buy Rocket Ship Beach. Definitely music both children and parents can listen to over and over and over.....
This cd is amazing. My kids love the songs and I actually love them too. I have been so tired of "kids'" cds that are too sugary or redundant. This is children's music with an adult bend to it. I find myself listening even without the kids.