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Dan Zanes

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Dan Zanes was born in Exeter, New Hampshire in 1961. He was a member of the Del Fuegos from the beginning to the end of the eighties. In 1994, he released a solo CD, “Cool Down Time,” shortly after which he moved to Brooklyn, N.Y. with his wife and daughter, where he then released Rocket Ship Beach (2000), launching his own record label, Festival Five Records. The CD was an immediate hit with families around America, as well as with the New York Times Magazine, which said, “Zanes’ kids music works because it is not kids music; it’s just music—music that’s unsanitized, unpasteurized, that’s organic even.”

His next CD, Family Dance (2001) was comprised of songs that are difficult not to dance to, and featured Loudon Wainwright III, Rosanne Cash and a lot of dancing that you can’t actually see but you can imagine. Next in the Festival Five family series came Night Time! (2002)—featuring collaborations with Aimee Mann and Lou Reed—followed by the GRAMMY nominated House Party (2003), a rambunctious twenty-song collection that includes Deborah Harry, Bob Weir, and Philip Glass, as well as the Rubí Theater Company and Rankin Don (a.k.a Father Goose).

“Sea Music,” a collection of maritime songs that was the first CD in the Festival Five Folk Series, and was cited in Rolling Stone’s Hot Issue in the category of Hot Maritime Sounds. The next CD in the Folk Series—“Parades and Panoramas: 25 Songs Collected by Carl Sandburg for The American Songbag”—is the disk on which Dan’s scruffy troupe of musicians dragged the poet’s 1927 collection of songs kicking and screaming into this century, with traditional instruments, with tuba-driven electric guitars, with whatever it takes.

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  • zigzagpop

    Yeaaaah!

    29 Apr 2011 Reply
  • sarasaur84

    WOW. Natural Born Killers soundtrack + Playhouse Disney? You're pretty amazing. I did an interview project in my Digital Video Production (HGTC) and used your "Smile, Smile, Smile" track for the interview of a 4 year old. Classic!

    3 Sep 2009 Reply
  • LaughingAcademy

    When I want to play kids songs for my kids it shouldn't just pick any song from a particular artist. One of Dan Zanes songs is from The natural born killers soundtrack and it has a violent murder going on in the background. Its great that Dan Zane has songs in other genres, but when I play Sesame street radio I don't want expect or want to ban an inappropriate song 10 times!

    10 Jun 2009 Reply

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