Ranky Tanky

When I used to work at Border's Books in Philadelphia (waaaay back in the college days), I rolled my eyes at all the parents who used to buy Raffi cds and other kids' music. In feeble 20-something mind, my future child would only listen to music that I liked, such as Sonic Youth or PJ Harvey.

But the mind softens with age, and I have started getting into "kids'" music. SoJo is a big fan of bluegrass, something about those twangy, fast banjos, so I thought that we'd love Ranky Tanky, the newest releast by Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem which hits stores on March 15th.
Produced by indie label Mayhem Music, Ranky Tanky is really catchy and upbeat. I love the way singer Rani Arbo revamps olds songs like The Green Grass Grows All Around (love that tune!) and Purple People Eater.

I'm not a gusher, but I really loved this CD. The songs were lively and often very sweet and funny. Unless I was listening really closely to the lyrics, I wouldn't have guessed it was a children's album. Though I'm by far a music connoisseur, much of the singing and playing reminded me of the Squirrel Nut Zippers, especially Rani Arbo, the fiddler/lead singer.
Here's how the band characterizes themselves, a description which I find lovely:
Start with a fiddle, a guitar, and a standup bass. Add a cardboard box with a suitcase bass drum and tin can cymbals, played by an ex-rock and zydeco drummer. Over that fine groove, hang Rani Arbo's expressive alto, seamless four-part harmonies, and a splash of banjo and ukulele, and you have it.
If you're looking for something sunny and twangy to light up your playtime and beyond, definitely check out Ranky Tanky by daisy mayhem.
Disclosure: I received a copy of Ranky Tanky to facilitate the writing of this review. And I truly love this album!


Shana said...

You know, we tried Raffi, and I wasn't impressed. I will admit to being a kids' music snob. I don't like much of it. We'll have to check this one out.

sunnymum said...

This sounds fun! Thanks for sharing!
An aside: I do prefer Fred Penner to Raffi...

TheEclecticElement said...

That's so funny that he likes bluegrass music-I can honestly say I've never heard of a kid who likes that type of music!
Good for him :)

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