15 Songs, 43 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Dan Zanes and Elizabeth Mitchell—who both started out in alternative music before broadening their fanbases to include the pre-tween set—prove that parallel lines sometimes do cross. While Zanes has a fairly broad grasp of music from around the world, Mitchell is a folkie at heart, and Turn Turn Turn accommodates her by diving into folk, Appalachian songs, and other roots music, both covers and originals. (The Caribbean-inflected “In the Sun” is a notable exception, and it's Zanes’ best song here.) “Sail Away Ladies” has the kind of stomp that would carry a barn dance late into the evening, and the blues come to the fore on Zanes’ “I Like Hot Weather” and “Creole Belle.” Parents will likely appreciate “Turn Turn Turn,” with alternate lyrics by Pete Seeger’s wife, Toshi. The songs are sometimes perhaps a little too amiable—“Train Is a Coming” is nice but doesn’t have that gospel elevation we expect—and there are an abundance of songs with animals and weather in them. But this is truly good-time music for fans of all ages.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Dan Zanes and Elizabeth Mitchell—who both started out in alternative music before broadening their fanbases to include the pre-tween set—prove that parallel lines sometimes do cross. While Zanes has a fairly broad grasp of music from around the world, Mitchell is a folkie at heart, and Turn Turn Turn accommodates her by diving into folk, Appalachian songs, and other roots music, both covers and originals. (The Caribbean-inflected “In the Sun” is a notable exception, and it's Zanes’ best song here.) “Sail Away Ladies” has the kind of stomp that would carry a barn dance late into the evening, and the blues come to the fore on Zanes’ “I Like Hot Weather” and “Creole Belle.” Parents will likely appreciate “Turn Turn Turn,” with alternate lyrics by Pete Seeger’s wife, Toshi. The songs are sometimes perhaps a little too amiable—“Train Is a Coming” is nice but doesn’t have that gospel elevation we expect—and there are an abundance of songs with animals and weather in them. But this is truly good-time music for fans of all ages.

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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

  • ORIGIN
    Exeter, NH
  • BORN
    1961

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