sometimes it takes a few listens before i really start to like a particular cd and that was the case with both of these albums. maybe i liked one or two songs on the first spin, but the more i listened to these, the more the other songs grew on me, so i thought i’d share them here with you because i think they could both use more exposure.
the first is “fidgety feet” by steve rashid and the woodside avenue all-stars. to be honest with you, this was a cd i had planned to weed out of the library’s collection. the circulation statistics weren’t great and there was something about the cover art that i found rather disturbing. but i happened to glance at the back cover and saw the list of songs and was intrigued enough to give it a listen. if you like jazz standards (“it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing”, “i’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter,” etc.) and would like to have them on a kid-friendly album, then this is one you’ll enjoy. we listened to this one several times in the car before i felt the need to switch to something different. (samples can be heard here, album can be purchased here.)
the second is “family photograph” by the dreyer family band. this album got a lot of really great reviews awhile back, but every time i listened to it, i just didn’t get it. i kept wanting to like it, but i didn’t have the patience to really listen to it. again, this one finally got some play-time in my car and i finally understand the appeal. you know how some bands sort of have a lot of songs that sort of sound the same? this is not one of those bands. this album has different styles that range from funk to bluegrass to early radio to piano ballad…. and they’re all done surprisingly well. but the real gem here is the lyrics. one of my favorites is this funkalicious song all about the noises in a city that keep a baby awake “you know it’s loud when you turn on the dryer to drown out the sound of the roto-tiller…”, but i also really appreciated the lyrics of “peace and love” (“what you think about becomes you so let’s think about love”). there are still a few songs on the album that just sort of float past my ears and a couple that i still find myself skipping over (“cutie baby” is cute the first time or two, but then feels a bit manic after awhile), but it’s definitely an album worth giving a few listens to.