Daddy-O, Daddy! Rare Family Songs of Woody Guthrie

Daddy-O Daddy! Rare Family Songs of
Woody Guthrie


First Appeared at The Music Box, May 2003, Volume 10, #5

Written by John Metzger


When Woody Guthrie died, he left behind a plethora of poetry that he had never gotten around to setting to music. Some of this material was tackled by Billy Bragg and Wilcoís two-album project Mermaid Avenue, but shortly thereafter, a lesser-known compilation of his songs for children ó some known, some unknown ó was put together by the Rounder label. The set featured such folk music luminaries such as Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Rambliní Jack Elliott, Joe Ely, Taj Mahal, and Kim Wilson ó each turning in warm and wonderful interpretations of Guthrieís playful words.

Itís the lyrics that are most apt to appeal to kids while guiding them through the early trials and tribulations of life. Donít You Push Me Down offers some assistance in dealing with the playground bully; Dry Bed jubilantly captures a successful potty training experience; Little Seed shows how love and care can help life to blossom and grow; and Bigger fulfills every childís dream to be just a little bit older. Then, there are the made-up words and nonsense syllables that fill just about every song ever written for little tykes, yet within the hands of Guthrie and the artists on Daddy-O Daddy, they are hardly annoying to parents.

Musically, some of the songs might lean just a bit towards an older crowd, and some younger children might lose interest during Cissy Houstonís eloquent Little Seed or the two blues-oriented arrangements provided by Kim Wilson ó good as they may be. But itís also hard to imagine children not dancing wildly to the percussive bounce of Dry Bed or laughing uncontrollably at the goofy Little Sack O Sugar. starstarstarstar

Daddy-O Daddy! Rare Family Songs of Woody Guthrie is
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!


Copyright © 2003 The Music Box