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Little Nut Tree

4.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 1, 2016
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Editorial Reviews

Little Nut Tree is a return to the age-desegregated mixed musical bag approach that has earned Zanes his place at the forefront of the family music genre. Recorded at Zanes' new homespun studio at Festival Five Records in Brooklyn, where friends and guests could visit to hang around and collaborate, the album features the multi-talented singer/violinist/whistler Andrew Bird on the original song I Don't Need Sunny Skies; funk/soul singer Sharon Jones brought her powerful voice to play in a duet with Zanes on the Etta James and Sugar Pie DeSanto R&B classic Down in the Basement ; West African group the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars jam on the album s title track, a cover of the Melodians Little Nut Tree ; and Zanes long time friend Joan Osborne added her Kentucky voice to another original Everybody s Going to be Happy. Zanes also traveled to downtown L.A. for a very special recording with the scrappy and soulful youth orchestra of the nonprofit organization The Harmony Project. Additional performances come from Zanes band present and past. The CD is packaged in a child friendly board book with extra durable 16 pages for little hands.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. In The Basement
  2. Jim Along Josie
  3. Summer Trains
  4. Wake Up Baby!
  5. John Kanakanaka
  6. Little Nut Tree
  7. I Don't Need Sunny Skies
  8. Saro Jane
  9. La Siren
  10. Everybody's Gonna Be Happy
  11. The Farmer Is The One
  12. Thank You
  13. Hill And Gully Rider
  14. Red Tail Hawk
  15. Salaam
  16. Beautiful Isle Of Somewhere


Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 1, 2016)
  • Original Release Date: April 1, 2016
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: FESTIVAL FIVE RECORDS
  • ASIN: B005EYP96W
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,069 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I have several Dan Zanes and Friends CDs, and while they're all on my short list of best kids' albums, I think this is my favorite of all. "Jim Along Josie," "John Kanakanaka," "The Farmer is the One," and "Hill and Gully Rider" are all irresistibly danceable, and "Salaam" is beautiful and meditative. There are lots of influences here, but the complex, witty, and bouncy Afro-Caribbean tradition is a dominant thread, perhaps a bit more so than on earlier DZ albums, which is awesome since the Father Goose tracks have always been my favorites. This may be an illusion, but there seems to be something a little more "personal" and even elegiac for DZ about this album--the title track and "Summer Train" refer to memories of his own daughter's childhood, and "Thank You" is a prayer of gratitude. I hope the reflective feeling doesn't signal any impending end to DZ's awesome kids' oeuvre--I love that there's real music, with real roots and real musicianship, that I can enjoy alongside my preschooler.
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Format: Audio CD
Our family loves Dan Zanes' music, and we own all of his family music CDs. I think this might be my favorite of all of them. Each of the songs is memorable: catchy, fun to sing, and a standout all on its own. As others have mentioned, Dan Zanes' albums are terrific listening for kids and adults equally (I listen to his cds in the car even when my daughter is not with me). I'm very glad I bought this -- it would make a great Christmas gift, too.
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Format: Audio CD
We just can't get enough of Dan's new album- Little Nut Tree. It's the perfect mix for everyone in the family and thank goodness for that because our 2 year old won't let us listen to much else. Even the songs I think are more for us than her, we hear her walking around the house singing on her own. Dan really knocked it out of the park on this one. HIGHLY recommended!
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Format: Audio CD
Little Nut Tree from Dan Zanes and Friends includes a sweet bunch of 16 songs ranging from funky soul numbers like In The Basement, to the fun-to-sing English shanty John Kanakanaka. Zanes does such a great job injecting new life into songs from the past that they sound just as fresh as his original pieces. Or maybe it's that his original songs sound as timeless as the covers?

I'm also so happy with the cultural around-the-world sampling Little Nut Tree provides my suburban kids. There is traditional Jamaican folk, country twang, American folk, and even a 60's-ish dance feel to Everybody's Going to be Happy.

If you've loved Dan Zanes for years, you'll definitely want to add this CD to your collection. But even those babes who have come into the world in the last handful of years will be able to jump on the DZ bandwagon with this release. It's a crowded bandwagon, as he is arguably the Big Daddy of kindie music, though something tells me he's willing to make room for new friends. (excerpted from my review on Cool Mom Picks)

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Format: Audio CD
In Little Nut Tree, Dan Zanes and his ever-changing "friends" may have their best release yet.

Since Family Dance, DZ&F have created quite a few albums, but IMO they had been on a roll of releasing CDs/LPs with a batch of 4-6 great tunes and at least as much so-so, albeit well-executed, material. Little Nut Tree ends that streak.

This thing holds together from start to finish, 16 songs in total. While you could say LNT is about 8% less "kiddie" than some of his other best efforts, it's absolutely more consistent from start to finish.

As always, the material covers a lot of musical genres. As usual, there are very good guest appearances (with Sharon Jones getting my vote for #1). For those of you looking for a great "first" DZ&F cd to buy, I would recommend this or Family Dance without hesitation.
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Format: Audio CD
For family music legend Dan Zanes, it's been a winding and curious road to "Little Nut Tree". But Zanes wouldn't have it any other way! After several years and several themed-albums (Gospel, Broadway, Spanish-Language), back is the wonder and back is the warmth. With a host of stellar guest stars (Andrew Bird, Sharon Jones, Joan Osborne, and more), Dan Zanes has delivered what could be argued is his finest album to date, one filled to the brim with professionally casual, good-time party music alongside gentle reflections on life, love, and family.

Easily one of the best kid's albums of 2011, "Little Nut Tree" stands as a classic Zanesian, everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink record that will be adored by all age groups.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When I first listened to this CD I wasn't sure why everyone loved it so much. The songs were a hodge lodge of different things.

As we continued to listen to it over and over, it really grew on me. My kids each have their favorites and I see why now.

Definitely recommend for a break from the traditional kids fare.
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Format: Audio CD
I love Dan Zanes' latest album, Little Nut Tree. My daughter loves it too, but I continue listening to it after I have dropped her off at school. Dan Zanes is very talented and the musicians he partners with on the album are amazing. What a happy addition to our kids' music, and just our overall MUSIC music, collection! I highly recommend it.
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