Wayne Potash's seventh kids' music release might surprise longtime listeners, but it certainly won't disappoint. Whereas his last CD, A Day in the Life
, was steeped in classic rock influences, Yes!
has a definite alt country
feel, with touches of modern bluegrass. One thing that makes Yes!
work is that Potash performed and produced the album in a way that all the songs mix and meld into a cohesive sound. No genre-jumping was needed to create this great album!
Parents' Choice Award winner Wayne Potash
has been creating music for many years in and around the Boston area, including stints in the groups X-Dreams, The Hackmasters, and The Winiker Big Band. He inadvertently stumbled into the kids' music scene, which led to the releases of his kids' music albums The Wayne Tape
in 1989, Music Fun
in 1994, Yodel for a Fish
in 1999, Living Room Demos
in 2002, Don't Forget the Donut!
in 2005, A Day in the Life
in 2009, and now Yes!
The Music of Wayne Potash's 'Yes!'
kicks off with a pretty straight bluegrass version of the traditional tune "Old Dan Tucker," inspired, according to Potash, by Pete Seeger
's recording. The loping country tune "I Like Trucks" sounds a little like a Roger Miller song, while "Bold Beaver" tells the story of a brave rodent via a super melody and catchy chorus that'll remind you of a John Denver
pop song. The chorus of "Allis Chalmers" sounds vaguely like "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" and tells the story of the tractor Potash used as teenager, and "Sleep in a Tent" is a wonderful tune about the outdoors that has a feel similar to the organic country sound on The Okee Dokee Brothers' latest album Can You Canoe?
Originally released on Don't Forget the Donut
, "Seven Nights To Rock" introduces young listeners to Moon Mullican's classic rockabilly tune written by Buck Trail, Louis Innis, and Henry Glover. "Flying an an Airplane" has a smooth, organic sound similar to The Doobie Brothers
' mellower stuff, while Potash and band play a chugging version of the blues song "Rock Island Line," a tune made popular by Lead Belly. Skiffle artist Lonnie Donegan, a favorite of the young Beatles
, recorded his version in 1954, so Potash and band included a tiny snippet of "Get Back" in their recording of "Rock Island Line."
More Music from Wayne Potash's 'Yes!'
Lucy Sollogub wrote the folk tune
"Underneath It is Me," a song about the real you sung by Hannah Lizotte. I wouldn't even have to tell you because it's so evident, but Potash channels Led Zeppelin
through "Yes O Yes," a song that is heavily influenced by that classic band's manic backwoods bluegrass tune "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" from Led Zeppelin III
. "Penguins Attention" is an audience participation song recorded at a live concert, while the environmental song "I Wanna Be Green" sounds a little like The Monkees' tune "Zor and Zam." "My Name is Joe" is another classic audience participation song that includes lots of sound effects to accompany each line of the tune. Potash and band play a nice bluegrass
version of the traditonal "I Had a Rooster," a song included on the Pete Seeger compilation Birds, Beasts, Bugs and Fishes, Little and Big
. The album ends with a treat, the original 1983 version of "Dogs in Outer Space," a New Wave-ish rocker by Potash's former band X-Dreams.
Wayne Potash has been in the kids' music game for a long time now, so it's to his credit that his albums keep getting better as he goes along. Yes! is a great little chunk of alt country for kids, introducing children and their families to traditional tunes and original songs, all performed with an organic warmth unique to Wayne Potash and his musical friends.
Released February 16, 2013; Happy House Records
- Old Dan Tucker
- I Like Trucks
- Bold Beaver
- Allis Chalmers
- Sleep in a Tent
- Seven Nights To Rock
- Flying in an Airplane
- Rock Island Line
- Underneath It is Me
- Yes O Yes
- Penguins Attention
- I Wanna Be Green
- My Name is Joe
- I Had a Rooster
- Dogs in Outer Space