Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Go Waggaloo

Go Waggaloo

Spring 2010 Music
Ages: All Ages
CD Price: $11.98
This tradition-honoring collection of acoustic heart songs features folk icon Woody Guthrie's granddaughter Sarah Lee Guthrie with her musician husband Johnny Irion, her folk singer father Arlo (who contributes auto harp and ukulele) and other members of both musical families. Joining the multigenerational sing-along are folk great Pete Seeger and his grandson Tao Rodriguez Seeger, an alt-rock/folk musician in his own right.

Sarah Lee's sweet country lilt leads the way, complementing the fresh simplicity of old and new songs that celebrate childhood and the sheer pleasure of family and friends making music together. Two delightful songs-the title track, "Bright Clear Day" and "Fox and the Goose"-feature the words of Woody Guthrie set to music for the first time. Sarah Lee's "Don't I Fit in My Daddy's Shoes?" is resonant with her grandfather's spirit, while "Brush Your Teeth Blues #57" by Irion is a beautiful surprise and "Oni's Ponies" turns a child's simple observation ("Those are not horses, they are ponies") into melodic magic. The Seegers take the lead on a rousing version of "She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain."

Infused with warmth and a sense of play, this album carries on the family tradition in another way: In 1992, a new audience was introduced to Woody Guthrie's charming children's songs when Arlo Guthrie and his siblings released "Woody's Grow Big Songs," combining their voices with recordings of their father to create an album that remains a stand-out in the field.

Lynne Heffley   ©2010 Parents' Choice
A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper's first weekly children's arts and entertainment beat.

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Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
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