Thursday, June 04, 2009

***Andy Mason***

Andy Mason's sophomore kids' album continues where Everybody Likes Pizza! left off, but with more instruments in the mix. Play It Again! is a solid collection of Americana tunes, slyly instructional songs, ridiculous sing-alongs, and eclectic covers. Everybody Like Pizza! was pretty much a solo acoustic affair, but this time around, Portales, New Mexico's favorite kids' musician utilizes jangly piano, a taste of accordion, twangy guitar, and the occasional standup bass.

Play It Again! kicks off with the honky tonk sing-along "My Cat's Got Fleas!" and the energetic tribute to swashbucklers everywhere, "The Pirate Song." Boogie woogie while you "Wash Your Hands," then follow along with the Simon Says-like "Monkey See, Monkey Do," a tune that sounds like a tinkling piano version of John Mellencamp's "R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A."

Mason lets his southwestern musical influences show on the cantina canciĆ³n "The Toilet Training Dance," the bilingual "Los Colores," and the Spanish-language ballad "A Mi Madre" and counting song "Los Numeros." And the country-flavored, perfect-for-Summer-Reading tune "Everybody Likes to Read" declares that ... well ... everybody likes to read!

What's interesting is Mason's choice of cover tunes: his barroom story-song version of the traditional "Hagdelina Magdelina;" his cajun-spiced version of Trout Fishing In America's great song "My Hair Had a Party Last Night," which fits in perfectly with Mason's Americana sound; his faithful cover of William Hargreaves' "Delaney's Donkey," made popular by Irish singer Val Doonican in the late '60s; and his breezy cover of The Housemartins' "Sheep," from their 1986 album London 0 Hull 4. Mason reworks the lyrics to turn "Sheep" into a song about trying to get to sleep, rather than The Housemartins' original sunny tirade against the easily-led masses.

Play It Again! ends with a live version of the crowd participation summer camp song "Bubble Gum," and the epic lullaby instrumental "Lalabye." And note that two tunes, "Kewsong," a waltzing country & western tune about Mason's daughter, and the aforementioned "A Mi Madre," were originally included on Mason's recently-released grownup album Lost Cowboy, which goes to show that the line between kids' music and grownup music is disappearing.

Andy Mason turns in a fun album of southwestern Americana tunes for the whole family!


Dusty Deen said...

Love it, and the album artwork isn't bad either!

Susie said...

We LOVE this album ... and the artiste!!

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