Dan Zanes is a beloved character in his adopted hometown of Brooklyn, as well as a musical ambassador for kids and their families. His secret to success is that he collects and performs traditional and historical songs that are as "singalongable" as possible. Zanes is a big proponent of live music, and part of that belief is that you don't just sing at kids, you get them involved with the concert, the sing-along, the CD.
His band includes Colin Brooks (drums, vocals), Barbara Brousal (guitar, mandolin, vocals), Cynthia Hopkins (accordion, melodica, vocals), Wayne Rhoden (aka Father Goose, toaster), Yoshi Waki (upright bass), and Zanes (mandolin, electric guitar, harmonica, banjo), along with guest vocals from David Jones.
On the All Around the Kitchen DVD, Dan Zanes and Friends present a spirited and brief concert of songs from the albums Family Dance, House Party, Rocket Ship Beach, Night Time!, and Sea Music. The show is filmed in a style somewhere between hand-held video camera and professionalfilming, keeping the vitality of the live show while maintaining a quality production.
Zanes plays to an obviously devoted audience, as the crowd know the lyrics to old seafaring and folk tunes like "Strike the Bell" and "Pay Me My Money Down," not exactly common sing-alongs at home. But the band are also obviously enjoying themselves, and it's fun to join in and sing Zanes' original "Wonder Wheel," guitarist Barbara Brousal's "Malti," and concert favorite Father Goose's medley of nursery rhymes, done up in Jamaican toasting style.
The concert ends with "Sidewalks of New York," a song written in 1894, and the band file through the crowd as they play, ending up, fittingly, on the sidewalks of New York outside The Knitting Factory on Leonard Street.
The DVD also contains five videos as seen on Sesame Street and Playhouse Disney, as well as an "on the road" video of the band set to the music of the traditional tune "Wanderin'." Both live action and animation accompany the videos, two of which feature the wonderful artwork of Donald Saaf.
A bonus feature includes a short informational film about Heifer International, an organization fighting hunger and poverty.
- Wonder Wheel
- Pay Me My Money Down
- Strike the Bell
- Polly Wolly Doodle
- Father Goose (medley)
- Down in the Valley
- Hokey Pokey
- Sidewalks of New York
- Jump Up
- House Party Time
- Go Down Emmanuel Road
- All Around the Kitchen