Sea Music

October 18, 2016 - Comment

On Sea Music, former Del Fuegos frontman turned kid’s music songster Dan Zanes performs a set of old sea shanties in a rough-hewn but charming manner. He takes songs that have been worn smooth from constant use, artfully scuffs them up, and restores them to their former “ragged but right” glory. His performance of “Shenandoah,”

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On Sea Music, former Del Fuegos frontman turned kid’s music songster Dan Zanes performs a set of old sea shanties in a rough-hewn but charming manner. He takes songs that have been worn smooth from constant use, artfully scuffs them up, and restores them to their former “ragged but right” glory. His performance of “Shenandoah,” for example, features some fine Leadbelly-style 12-string guitar picking and an anguished vocal that almost erases the memory of the polite, formal choral arrangements that usually smother the song. And his “Sloop John B” sails along on jaunty banjos and mandolins rather than the slick harmonies of the Beach Boys’ version. These shanties were originally created by sailors as work songs, and consequently they have choruses that are perfect for singing along. Zanes is joined on many tracks by an enthusiastic chorus of kids who are obviously having a wonderful time belting out the sometimes salty lyrics. As with all of Zanes’s recordings for children, adults are likely to find themselves listening to this wonderful music even when the kids aren’t underfoot. –Michael John Simmons

Comments

L. Gray Sanders says:

Children’s music that parents can love.

Scrumpy says:

Disappointing

Anonymous says:

I like anything to do with the sea and I bought this CD on the strength of the glowing reviews. Having lived in a port city in England that hosts an annual Sea Shanty festival, I was fortunate to hear some of the best shanty singers around. I had high expectations for Dan Zanes and was sorely let down. The music is basic and unpolished, which should be a good thing. Shanties are supposed to be raw, gutsy. But the quality of the music here is downright amateurish — merely a sing-a-long…

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