Filed Under:

Dan Zanes Plants A 'Little Nut Tree'

Play associated audio

When Dan Zanes became a father 16 years ago, he took seriously the decision of which song to play to his newborn daughter first. He chose the 1968 Jamaican hit "Little Nut Tree." Now, after more than a decade of recording music for families, the godfather of the kids' music renaissance has released a new album called Little Nut Tree on his own label.

Zanes is known for recruiting guest artists from far and wide, and featuring them in individual songs on his albums. After 2006's Grammy-winning Catch That Train, Zanes took a few musical detours, releasing a Spanish-language album, a collection of spiritual and gospel music, and a Broadway-themed album. While there were good individual songs on those records, none had the same melting-pot mixture of his earlier work.

On the new album, Zanes brings back that big grab-bag, moving from Jamaican rock-steady to children's folk songs, from Middle Eastern sounds to indie rock. But it's his belief in the power of singing that has always been one of Zanes' most appealing attributes, with kids naturally responding. His positive attitude isn't cloying, so it attracts a wider age demographic.

After a summer of tumultuous economics and weather, the idea of hosting a dance party in your basement might sound like wishful thinking. But songs like Zanes' "In the Basement" not only inspire kids, but also get adult heads bobbing. Even if your party's guest list isn't that impressive, you can still push the tables and chairs out of the way and just dance.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Your Turn: Sexual Assault, Nate Parker And More

Director Nate Parker's college rape case is resurfacing and putting off would-be fans of his highly anticipated film "The Birth of a Nation." What do Washingtonians think?

NPR

Minnesota Cracks Down On Neonic Pesticides, Promising Aid To Bees

Minnesota's governor has ordered new restrictions on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, which have been blamed for killing bees. Many details of the plan, however, remain to be worked out.
WAMU 88.5

Donald Trump’s Immigration Plan And His Visit To Mexico

Donald Trump lays out a plan for immigration after a meeting with Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto. An update on the Republican presidential nominee’s proposals on immigration, illegal drugs and trade.

WAMU 88.5

Results From Congressional Primary Races And New Concerns About Hacks Into State Voting Systems

Join us to discuss results from primary challenges to Republican Senator John McCain, Democratic Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz and others and new concerns possible Russian hackers breaking into U.S. state voting systems.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.