Dan Zanes and Friends to Play Flynn

Founder and lead singer/songwriter of the 1980’s roots rock group the Del Fuegos, Dan Zanes has turned his considerable talents to making cool music for kids and families. Whether sharing his own infectious folk-rock originals, reinventing rock classics with both kids and boomer parents in mind, or reinvigorating folk standards for a new generation, Zanes and his bandmates delight listeners with wry, rootsy sounds that tickle the funny bone and don’t insult the listeners intelligence. Since its release in the fall of last year Dan’s first kids’ CD Rocket Ship Beach. has become a favorite in the all-ages underground and has been widely praised in print. (The New York Times Magazine, People, Martha Stewart Living, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly), on the radio (NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, The Todd Mundt Show, several noncommercial children’s shows), and on TV (CBS Saturday Morning; NY1; New Yorkers, a Japanese documentary). The CD received the Parents Choice recommended award, and Zanes was recently named Best New Artist for Young Children by the Children’s Music Web Awards 2001. This Fall Zanes and Friends released Family Dance-the follow-up to the critically acclaimed Rocket Ship Beach-on the Brooklyn-based Festival Five Records. This time the theme is dance. With irrestible grooves, drawn from a wealth of musical traditions, and spirited, organic performances, Family Dance makes dancing (whether it’s all around the kitchen or all around your head) almost impossible to avoid. Songs range from updated classics like “Rock Island Line,” “Fooba Wooba John,” and “Skip to My Lou” to a half-dozen originals. Like Rocket Ship Beach, Family Dance, is packed with updated musical traditions. Drums, tubas, electric and acoustic guitars, fiddles, madolins, banjos, harmonicas, accordions, upright basses, and lap steels all come together in a crazy yet natural mix of rock and roll, American folk, hip-hop, fiddle tunes, dancehall, and turn-of-the-century pop. The spirit is happily relaxed and communal, sending the message: “It’s fun, it’s easy, try this at home.” Family Dance takes a step forward from Rocket Ship Beach in featuring more original songs. The first CD had only two, but Family Dance has several: four by Zanes, including “Thrift Shop” a sharp duet that becomes a comic shopping dialogue between Dan and Sandra Bernhard; Barbara Brousal’s rock and roll song in Spanish, “Malti”; and “Yo Yo Sweet Yo Yo” by Jose Garcia, a Spanish and English song performed acapella with human beatboxers. Dan Zanes and Friends will be performing at The Flynn Sunday, February 9 at 2 pm.