18 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Repetition, repetition, repetition: it’s the cardinal rule of kids’ music, and the first one Dan Zanes lines up to break on this wide-ranging, musically adventurous album of spirituals, Zulu chants, sea shanties and shaggy-dog folk-rock. But then the former Del Fuegos frontman doesn’t make “kids’ music”, exactly; he makes “age-desegregated” music—meant for entire families, who don’t necessarily need to hear songs about ex-girlfriends and bars, on the one hand, or dinosaurs and fruit salads, on the other. Some of the musical pairings here are so unlikely as to be pure genius: the Kronos Quartet meets Leadbelly on “Grey Goose” while Nick Cave sounds positively cuddly on “Sweet Rosyanne”. Elsewhere, the Blind Boys of Alabama provide harmonies on the rousing gospel spiritual “Welcome Table” (nicely updated here with lyrics about the American civil rights movement) and Natalie Merchant guests on the lovely, lilting “Loch Lomond”. There are familiar voices from past Zanes albums, too, like Barbara Brousal’s vocals on the Spanish-language “Mariposa Olé” or Father Goose’s rowdy dancehall rhymes on “Choo Choo Ch’Boogie” and “Pata Pata”. Cosmopolitan and rootsy at the same time, Catch That Train! doesn’t talk down to kids, because it’s not really talking to them at all—just making great music and hopefully inspiring families to cook up some of their own.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Repetition, repetition, repetition: it’s the cardinal rule of kids’ music, and the first one Dan Zanes lines up to break on this wide-ranging, musically adventurous album of spirituals, Zulu chants, sea shanties and shaggy-dog folk-rock. But then the former Del Fuegos frontman doesn’t make “kids’ music”, exactly; he makes “age-desegregated” music—meant for entire families, who don’t necessarily need to hear songs about ex-girlfriends and bars, on the one hand, or dinosaurs and fruit salads, on the other. Some of the musical pairings here are so unlikely as to be pure genius: the Kronos Quartet meets Leadbelly on “Grey Goose” while Nick Cave sounds positively cuddly on “Sweet Rosyanne”. Elsewhere, the Blind Boys of Alabama provide harmonies on the rousing gospel spiritual “Welcome Table” (nicely updated here with lyrics about the American civil rights movement) and Natalie Merchant guests on the lovely, lilting “Loch Lomond”. There are familiar voices from past Zanes albums, too, like Barbara Brousal’s vocals on the Spanish-language “Mariposa Olé” or Father Goose’s rowdy dancehall rhymes on “Choo Choo Ch’Boogie” and “Pata Pata”. Cosmopolitan and rootsy at the same time, Catch That Train! doesn’t talk down to kids, because it’s not really talking to them at all—just making great music and hopefully inspiring families to cook up some of their own.

TITLE TIME
3:20
2:45
3:09
2:34
1:12
2:42
2:28
2:57
2:54
3:44
4:09
2:41
2:35
2:54
3:27
2:52
3:22
4:42

About Dan Zanes

After years of rocking in the 1980s with the Del Fuegos, singer/songwriter Dan Zanes created his own band, the Dan Zanes Trio, in 1994. The group got started when Zanes was hanging out with producer Mitchell Froom in Lower Manhattan; after adding drummer Jerry Marotta, they began playing their sparse blues and folk-rock to small crowds in clubs like the CBGB Gallery. Produced by Froom, the trio's debut LP, Cool Down Time, a raw rock effort influenced by '60s-era R&B, appeared in 1995. In 2001 Zanes resurfaced with the children's folk-tinged Rocket Ship Beach, featuring "friends" Sheryl Crow, Suzanne Vega, Donald Saaf, Rankin Don, and the Sandy Girls. Zanes continued his Dan Zanes & Friends children's series in 2002 with the release of Family Dance and Night Time. House Party followed in 2003, Sea Music and Parades and Panoramas: 25 Songs Collected by Carl Sandburg arrived in 2004, and Catch That Train! landed the following year. Zanes released Nueva York! in 2008, a collection of songs from Puerto Rico, Mexico, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic, followed by 76 Trombones, a collection of Broadway tunes, in 2009. In 2011 Zanes and friends released Little Nut Tree, a family-style mixed-bag set of typically upbeat tunes that came packaged in a children's durable board book. Zanes teamed up with Elizabeth Mitchell (formerly of the group Ida) for another family-friendly acoustic set, 2013's Turn Turn Turn. Zanes' next project was 2017's Lead Belly, Baby!, a set of fresh interpretations of songs by the legendary folk-blues artist Lead Belly, with guest appearances by Billy Bragg, Chuck D, Valerie June, Ashley Phillips, and many more. ~ Richard Skelly

Top Songs by Dan Zanes

Top Albums by Dan Zanes

Top Music Videos by Dan Zanes

Listeners Also Played