Thursday, November 19, 2009

Merry Melodies Week Giveaway #3: Go Waggaloo by Sarah Lee Guthrie & Family CLOSED

I remember being a little girl and sitting on my daddy's knee as he played an Arlo Guthrie record on the turntable. I may not have understood the political or social messages behind "Alice's Restaurant" but the family memories of listening to the 18-plus minute song forever live deep in my heart. There's just something intimate about folk music. It has a universal appeal; people of all ages enjoy it and find themselves singing along. So, when I was offered an opportunity to review a new children's album from Sarah Lee Guthrie, youngest daughter of Arlo Guthrie and granddaughter of the legendary Woody Guthrie, I happily agreed.
Among the surprises on Go Waggaloo are a scratching drum machine and a spur-of-the-moment song recorded on a cell phone by the Guthrie family on a road trip. epitomizes the gift of sharing music between parents and children, a longstanding tradition in the Guthrie family. Each member of the family participates in the creative process by singing on tracks, inspiring lyrics and contributing musical accompaniment.
Sarah Lee and Johnny discuss the making of their album

Track Listing:

1. Don't I Fit in My Daddy's Shoes
2. Go Waggaloo
3. Take Me to Show-and-Tell
4. Bright Clear Day
5. 'Cuz We're Cousins
6. Oh How He Lied
7. Big Moon
8. Fox and the Goose
9. If Mama Had Four Hands
10. Big Square Walkin'
11. She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain
12. Brush Your Teeth Blues #57
13. Oni's Ponies

The first thing I noticed was the colorful, childlike cover art. I later discovered it was actually a painting entitled "Race You Down the Mountain", drawn by none other than Woody Guthrie himself. Enclosed with the album was a 36-page booklet chock full of liner notes, lyrics and photos of the recording sessions. I loved the small touches and nods to previous generations, which prove faithful to the very nature of American folk music.

From the moment I heard the gentle strum of the acoustic guitar in the opening track, I was hooked. As I listened, I felt as if I were sitting barefoot on the floor in a circle singing along with some of the greatest progressive folk artists of our era. You could just sense the warmth and closeness that emanated from the music, evoking a spirit of family togetherness. It was nothing short of magical. Sarah Lee's breathy vocals, reminiscent of Alison Krauss, were enchanting. She certainly inherited her father's compelling storytelling technique. And her daughters' accompaniment on the songwriting and composition made the delivery all the more special. The musical style may have been traditional but the lyrics were relevant and contemporary, with references to Xbox and DVDs that children of all ages can relate to.

I enjoyed each and every song on the album but if I had to choose my favorites, they would be the catchy title track "Go Waggaloo", the sweet ode to bedtime "Brush Your Teeth Blues #57" and the cheerful Woody Guthrie-penned "Bright Clear Day". "'Cuz We're Cousins" was also dear to me because it reminded me of my own close relationship with my cousin Erinn, who was like a sister to me when we were younger. Nate's favorite was "Go Waggaloo" (what can I say? He has his mama's good taste) but he also enjoyed the comical school-age story "Take Me to Show-and-Tell" and the wacky "Big Moon", which made him smile and laugh each time the baby in the background cooed.

Bottom line: Sarah Lee & Family's Go Waggaloo is wholesome, authentic family music that is a refreshing departure from the more popular kindie rock genre.

BUY IT: You can purchase Go Waggaloo on (ARV $11.98) or on the Smithsonian Folkways website, as a CD or digital download.

WIN IT: One lucky reader can win their own copy of the album!

MAIN COURSE (MANDATORY ENTRY): Listen to the streaming tracks on the Smithsonian Folkways website and tell me which song you like best. Remember to please leave your email address in your comment if it isn't visible on your profile or if you are not a blogger!

SUGAR ON TOP (BONUS ENTRIES): To maximize your chances of winning, you may do any or all of the following. Be sure to complete the above mandatory entry or your bonus entries will not count!

1.) Follow my blog or subscribe via reader or email. Comment telling me which method you chose. If you already follow or subscribe, that counts! (1 entry)

2.) Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this contest. Just leave me a comment with your tweet link. (1 entry)

3.) Join the Smithsonian Folkways email list. (1 entry)

4.) Add my blog button and/or my holiday button to your site and leave a comment with the link to where I can find it. (1 entry for each)

5.) Enter any of my other current giveaways and leave a comment telling me which one(s) you entered. (1 entry each)

Giveaway will end on December 3, 2009 at 11:59pm EST. Open to U.S. only. Winners will be chosen via and will have 48 hours to respond to congratulatory email or prize will be forfeited and another winner will be chosen.

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of Go Waggaloo from Beth at Sugar Mountain PR to facilitate my candid review. I was not compensated in any other way for this post.


lisa said...

I liked If Mama Had Four Hands, cool retro sound.

oaneto said...

Great review. This looks like a really fun album! Thanks for sharing. I found your blog while searching for something.

Since its relevant here and you might find it fun/useful. I also wanted to give a plug for a site Ive been working on that helps people share songs with their friends. Its free, easy and there's no account signup. Login with Facebook. Check it out if you get a chance. Hope you like it. Thanks!

Tracysweetangl said...

I like Big Moon.

Janet and Maya said...

I went to the website and found a free download of Cuz We're Cousins - love it!

mayacarpenter at verizon dot net

erma said...

I like the song Big Moon.

Desiree said...

I like fox and the goose

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Rajee said...

I like fox and the goose

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