Thursday, November 13, 2008

***Johnny Keener***

West Virginia-born, Portland, Oregon-based Johnny Keener throws his musical influences into the pot and dishes out a great collection of rootsy, bluesy, Americana for kids and their families. Long John is his second CD for children, the first being 2006's Elephants Over the Fence. Check out Keener's solo album for grownups, as well as his work with the band Yoyodyne.

Long John kicks off with Henry Thomas' classic "Fishin' Blues," made famous by The Lovin' Spoonful on their 1965 album Do You Believe in Magic, and by Taj Mahal on his 1968 album De Ole Folks at Home. Next is the rockabilly raveup "Run Around," a tune that would be right at home on a Buddy Holly 45.

From the old to the new and somewhere in between: the title tune is a call-and-response African-American field song, followed by a cover of The Apples In Stereo's powerpop "Energy," from last year's New Magnetic Wonder. And then comes a spirited cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Down On the Corner," their hit from 1969's Willy and the Poor Boys.

"I Don't Want It" is a sea shanty/waltz, followed by a Stray Cats-like version of the folk tune "Cat Came Back." Then there's a cover of Cat Stevens' great singalong, "If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out," written for the 1971 film Harold and Maude. The album ends with the quiet shuffle of Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds," and Johnny's own take on the oldie "Mockingbird."

Super folk/rock/blues for the entire family!

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