Dan Zanes and Friends Little Nut TreeMy kids and I know that our lives are made even more awesome because of all the friends who join us on our adventures, something I couldn’t help but think about while listening to Dan Zanes and Friends latest release. One that happens to be heavy on the “and Friends”.

It’s as if his musical buddies heard he was releasing another CD—his first in five years!—and lined up at the studio door to join in the fun. And unlike my friends who I wouldn’t trust in a karaoke duet, the all-star crew on this CD can all carry one heck of a tune.

{don’t miss an amazing, one-of-a-kind giveaway after the jump! It’s a good one…}

Little Nut Tree from Dan Zanes and Friends includes a sweet bunch of 16 songs ranging from funky soul numbers like In The Basement, to the fun-to-sing English shanty John Kanakanaka. Zanes does such a great job injecting new life into songs from the past that they sound just as fresh as his original pieces. Or maybe it’s that his original songs sound as timeless as the covers?

Either way, this is the kind of CD I can imagine parents and grandparents both enjoying with the kids in their lives.

Among the many guest artists, I love Andrew Bird’s voice, violin and whistling which lend a lightness to the sweet and folksy I Don’t Need Sunny Skies, one of my favorite songs on this CD. And Shine, the group that brought down the house at this year’s Kindiefest, sounds amazing on Wake Up Baby!

I’m also so happy with the cultural around-the-world sampling Little Nut Tree provides my suburban kids. There is traditional Jamaican folk, country twang, American folk, and even a 60’s-ish dance feel to Everybody’s Going to be Happy.

If you’ve loved Dan Zanes for years, you’ll definitely want to add this CD to your collection. But even those babes who have come into the world in the last handful of years will be able to jump on the DZ bandwagon with this release. It’s a crowded bandwagon, as he is arguably the Big Daddy of kindie music, though something tells me he’s willing to make room for new friends. Christina

Grab a copy of Dan Zanes and Friends’ Little Nut Tree, packaged in a 16-panel cardboard book, from his website, or at our affiliate Amazon.

Sarah H. must be dancing for joy (to Dan Zanes’ music, of course) — she won an autographed copy of Dan Zanes’ Little Nut Tree and a caricature of her kids, drawn by Dan Zanes.  Congratulations, Sarah!