I love it when music isn’t dumbed down for children. As parents, caregivers, and teachers, it’s important that we feed them good stuff, not the junk food of the music world, and that we feed them a variety. This week’s CD is about as great as it gets:
Randy Kaplan‘s CD “Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie” is wholesome perfection. You may not have even known that it was time to introduce your children to blues music, but with this new CD there is no better time. Randy Kaplan takes some blues and ragtime greats, makes the words accessible to children, and adds some narration to give a little background. I can’t help but smile when I listen to this album. I played it nonstop the first day I got it.
The narration happens in the form of a dialogue between Randy Kaplan and the raspy-voiced Lightnin’ Bodkins. Briefly interspersed between the songs, the dialogue is both music history lesson and a quest to give Randy Kaplan an true blues name. Without being overtly humourous it’s definitely funny, clever, and informative.
The lyrics for all the songs, while modified for the children, stay true to the feel of the original. My favourite is “In a Timeout Now,” (you remember it as “In the Jailhouse Now.”) Randy’s lyrics are all spot-on. He is witty and wry, and he has a spectacular vocabulary.
I love this CD, my children love this CD, and you and your children will love it, too. It was while we were reviewing this album that Red said to me, “Mummy, I’m glad you are a reviewer.” Me too, kid. Me too. Randy Kaplan is Red’s favourite musician, hands down, and that makes me feel like a better parent.
“Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie” releases next week to the general public and you can win your very own copy.
Randy Kaplan’s new CD, “Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie”