There always seems to be a way to surprise me. My latest was listening to 'Mr. Diddle Wah Diddle' by Randy Kaplan. I'll be perfectly honest, this isn't something that would have ever hit my radar. It's been decades since I've listened to anything that is geared towards children. I was quite surprised when I was asked to review it simply because it is a children's album. I was pleasantly surprised by what I heard.
It seems that Randy has found a way to engage a young audience, and give them a bit of a musical history lesson without them probably even realizing it. With humor and topics that any child can relate to Randy opens the door to genres that you simply don't hear on the radio anymore. With clever little introductions to songs he mentions some legendary musicians, and even explains the origins of things like how Muddy Waters became Muddy. It's a great way to expose the next generation to genres like the Blues and Jazz without giving them topics that are just not going to make sense to them.
Musically it's quite solid. Even though I'm well past the time in my life when getting the ice cream man to stop for me mattered, I could certainly appreciate the picking that accompanies Randy's lyrics. With the mussical talent on the CD it seems to me that it will appeal to parents on that level. It's fun and funny without being so sappy or sacharine that an adult just can't take it. The sounds are rounded out extremely well by the other musicians that are backing him.
For a parent of a young child this may be the perfect way to introduce them to musical styles that may seem just too far over their heads. There is a comfort that comes from knowing that there are still musicians out there that don't rely on four letter words and risque themes to draw an audience.