Saturday, April 24, 2010

Review: Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem - Ranky Tanky

"This is the soundtrack to summer."  That's what I said to myself when I first heard Ranky Tanky by Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem, another CD provided by the great Beth Blenz-Clucas over at Sugar Mountain PR (thanks, Beth!)

If your idea of summer vacation is lots of time spent running through the water in the fountain downtown, or lolling around on the grass under a big tree at the park, or taking car rides with the windows down and hanging your head out just like the dog, then this album is for you.  It's all about lightheartedness and having a good time. 

This album is covers of some of the band's favorite songs, "from other genres, times, and traditions."  Parents will recognize some of the songs from their childhood and, along with the kids, will discover some new favorites.  Lots of giggling, laughing, and snorting can also be heard on the album.  Undoubtedly, your child will find it infectious.  Summer is the time to lay aside all seriousness.

Daisy Mayhem is a crazy group of musicians comprised of Rani Arbo on fiddle and vocals, Andrew Kinsey on bass and vocals, Anand Nayak on guitar and vocals, and Scott Kessel on the intriguing Drumship Enterprise and vocals.  The Drumship is a recycled drum-kit that apparently is comprised of various bits and pieces as needed.  Anything from cardboard and wooden boxes, to tin cans and plastic jugs, to an old Naugahyde suitcase.  I'd love to see that live!  The band uses a variety of instruments including ukulele, banjo, kazoo, jawharp, harmonium, kalimba, bottles, balloon, and veggie baster.  It seems that this group is not afraid to pick up anything and coax music out of it.

This is the first album by Daisy Mayhem specifically aimed at families.  I love discovering bands like this that prove that just because they have a kids music label doesn't mean that they aren't serious musicians (well, sometimes anyway!)  For the uninitiated, Daisy Mayhem will come as a wonderful surprise, but to the seasoned veterans they prove that kids music can be amazingly good; and that's the rule, not the exception.  You can listen to some sample tracks from the CD here.

The music on the album is best suited for younger kids and adults who are young at heart.  Especially if you're into string bands.  Older kids might not find the album as much fun unless you can tickle them a bit before-hand and get them in a silly mood.  The album includes very energetic highs like They All Ask'd For You, Purple People Eater, and the title song Ranky Tanky, but also has more mellow songs like Tinny (a favorite of mine), the very sweet Morningtown Ride, the absolutely beautiful Wildflowers, ending with It's a Big World.  Interspersed throughout are short (less than a minute) tracks of songs and silliness, including an introduction to the song Bear to the Left in which Scott refers to the bug in his throat.

My thoughts?  Get this album to enjoy this summer and keep it to listen to this winter when you dream of summer.  I look forward to this CD getting lots of play wherever we are this summer.  If you'd like your own copy, get it here.

I received this review copy from Sugar Mountain PR.  My views and opinions are my own and I was not paid in anyway to write this review.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the wonderful review, Mrs. Mama! Hope your summer is fantastic (music and all) and that we get a chance to meet you down the road someday.
    Thanks again! Rani Arbo