Devon links to an article on Dan Zanes in a New York state newspaper this past week. Devon's comments (and Zanes', too) are spot-on. In that article and in this one from the Fresno Bee (sorry, registration required), Zanes outlines his philosophy, such as it is, regarding the music he's recording, which he calls "all ages." In the Fresno Bee article, Zanes says:
"I think when people talk about kids' music or children's music — music that's really particular to the experience of kids learning to count or eat with a fork — that's good, but that's never what I was interested in... I was interested in music that was a shared experience, that kids and grown-ups can listen to.... It helps people with the idea that they can hang around the house and do their own songs."
Zanes is the main reason I subtitled this blog "Children and Family Music Reviews" rather than just "Children's Music Reviews." By removing most music revolving around notions of romantic love from the equation, Zanes sounds very retro, but also opens himself up to a broad spectrum of thematic and musical choices that can appeal to all family members simultaneously. I can enjoy songs about learning to count or reciting the alphabet, if they're done well, but Zanes' approach is complementary. (I also whole-heartedly endorse Zanes' notion that people should sing on their own more.)
So here is a press release from Americans for the Arts Arts Advocacy Day, at which Zanes performed. No word on whether "Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 Ragtime" will appear on Catch That Train!.