Dan Zanes was my introduction to the world of ‘kindie’ music. After hearing countless jolly tunes about wheels on a bus and animals on a farm, Dan Zanes was literally music to my ears.
Zanes is without doubt a veteran of kindie music. He’s been in the business for more than ten years, has produced over ten albums and also has DVDs, books and some very fancy gold dance pants to his name.
If you are not yet familiar with Zanes then Rocket Ship Beach is a good starting point. Zanes always includes his ‘friends’ on his albums and teams up with guest musicians to record a mix of kids’ songs and traditional tunes with a Dan Zanes edge. The ‘friends’ are as diverse as the playlist so expect Brown Girl in the Ring with The Wonderland Strings right alongside a duet with Suzanne Vega on Erie Canal. The album includes On the Sunny Side of the Street, a song I remember from my own childhood and which still puts a spring in my step.
House Party is, as the title suggests, a house party and lots of friends are invited. Debbie Harry joins Zanes for a folksy rendition of Waltzing Matilda and Jamaica Farewell, his duet with Angelique Kidgo, will have you humming – and chilled out – all day.
A couple of Zanes albums are themed – Nueva York! is a collection of traditional Latino folksongs that will appeal to both children and adults; Sea Songs is a collection of accoustic maritime songs; and latest album 76 Trombones introduces Broadway gems to a young audience. Again, the mix is spot on with Hello, Dolly! sitting alongside Thumbelina.
Find Dan Zanes albums on iTunes for $16.99 each.