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Not for Kids Only

4.8 out of 5 stars 97 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 20, 1993
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

An aptly named album if ever there was one, Not for Kids Only combines the talents of two legendary performers, the late Jerry Garcia, singer-guitarist of the Grateful Dead, and David Grisman, mandolinist and father of "dawg music," a melding of bluegrass, jazz, swing, Latin, and Jewish klezmer sounds. On this 1993 recording, the two devoted friends make seemingly effortless music, adapting traditional and old-time folk into a personalized sound so "homemade" (with jew's-harp and tambourine) as to inspire any child, young or old, to pick up whatever's at hand to play along. From the jaunty rhythms of "Jenny Jenkins" to the cornball humor of "Arkansas Traveler" and the laugh-out-loud lyrics of "A Horse Named Bill" ("I had a girl and her name was Daisy / And when she sang the cat went crazy"), this album, with Garcia's delightful hand-drawn cover art, tickles from top to bottom. --Alanna Nash

Review

Gravelly voices, acoustic instrumentation (mandolin, banjo, jew's-harp, etc.) and an amused, ironic approach make twelve traditional cuts extraordinary. Dead-head Garcia and partner Grisman sing the ubiquitous Teddy Bears' Picnic backed by a muted jazz horn. Older children will be amused by the witty Arkansas Traveler, the lively Hot Corn, Cold Corn (not on the cob) and the lush Shenandoah Lullaby. Parents will find themselves humming along. After all ... this tape is "Not For Kids Only." -- From Parents' Choice®
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 20, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Acoustic Disc
  • ASIN: B000003913
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,255 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By P. Tufts on July 3, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is a favorite with every kid I know. But what do kids know? They listen to Raffi. *
From an adult perspective, this tape is amazing. The playing is superb and intelligent, the lyrics are sincere, heartfelt, and often pull-your-leg funny. Grisman and Garcia play with and off each other beautifully.
The musical skill here is extremely high, but feels unforced and simple.
For example, listen to the song "Arkansas Traveller" about an encounter between a city slicker and a country bumpkin:
Slicker: Well, hello stranger.
Bumpkin: Why, hello stranger!
Slicker: Yer corn looks awful little and yeller.
Bumpkin: I planted the little and yeller kind.
[cue duet]
Listen to the banjo and mandolin duet of turkey in the straw; the playing is quite intricate and beautiful.
What's right about this tape: it entertains and engages without once stooping to dull playing or insincere, tired singing. Unlike Raffi, for example, this tape never feels like an act.
Recommended for any kid. Also, any adult who likes good acoustic or folk guitar. This is a tape I play all the time, whether or not kids are around.
--Pat
* Please, no hate mail from all 15 of you adult Raffi fans. I know the lyrics to Baby Beluga and I'm not afraid to use them.
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By A Customer on May 29, 1998
Format: Audio CD
The late Jerry Garcia, lead guitarist for The Grateful Dead, was never known for the kind of upbeat vocals typically associated with children's music. Still, this sincere album offers a very appealing assortment of toe-tapping American folk tunes whose simple lyrics and old-fashioned harmonies appeal to the kid in all of us. "Uncle Jerry's" acoustic guitar picking is the perfect companion to David Grisman's plucky banjo and marvelous mandolin. The album's selections evoke a summer jam session on your porch, where friends join in at times with fiddle, harmonica--and sometimes piano. (Ok, ok, so the piano wouldn't exactly fit on the porch.) The album closes with a heartfelt rendition of the melancholy river song, Shenandoah, shyly sung by Garcia ("Away, I'm bound away, across the wide Missouri...") This sailor's worksong melts gracefully into Brahm's lullaby with a radiant string assemble lead by Grisman's brilliant mandolin, making for a very sweet sign-off.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a great album. It's a whole lot of fun. It's really just Jerry and Dave doing a bunch of kids songs. I don't have any kids so I can't really tell you how well this goes over with little ones; but then that should also tell you how nice this album is for adults.
This album features the bluegrass, twangy sound that Garcia and Grisman became known for. It's really no different there. But unlike just about all their other albums, this one you can sing along really loud and have a blast doing it. Good stuff.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a truly special recording. David Grisman and Jerry Garcia pick their acoustic way through a tasteful selection of children's classics, including a humorous 'Arkansas Traveler', a rousing 'Ain't No Bugs on Me', a rollicking Teddy Bear's Picnic', and a soothingly sleepy lullaby, 'Shenandoah'. A must-have for acoustic folk-style musicians, though enjoyable for just about anybody, this one comes to you with excellent production values and really neat cover art (wish I could find a print suitable for framing).
While you're at it, check out other Grisman/Garcia CD's for equally excellent music and production ('Shady Grove', 'The Pizza Tapes'), or Woody Guthrie's classic 'Songs to Grow On', perhaps the greatest children's album ever.
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Format: Audio CD
My CD collection is nearing the 1,000 mark, but there are a few discs that you can almost always find in my car or at my work. . . This is one of them. I'm not a big DEAD fan (don't hurt me), but Garcia and Grisman really struck a chord with me on this album.
It was originally given to me by a friend that REALLY didn't like folk music and bought it because Garcia's name was on it. What a great album to get!! All the songs are SUPER tastefully done, but as the title implies, adults will enjoy these tunes as much as anyone!
Really groovin' little disc!
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Format: Audio CD
Being a Garcia fan, I bought this many years ago for myself. Recently I had to buy another copy so I could get mine back from my 7 year old daughter. Her current favorite is Shanandoah, but tht changes according to her mood. The tape mainly features folk tunes that have come to the US and have had various alterations. Some of the versions picked are lesser known ones so you may even learn a few new verses!
Grisman and Garcia played well together and their timing was perfect. Production qualities are good and there are non musical sounds blended in in places that lend some decoration to the guitar and banjo that are used throughout. Their voices blend quite well on the tape, and yet in the 2 part songs there is no doubt that they are playing question and answer and having fun with it. I would recommend this to anyone with kids or with out if you have a liking for Burl Ives type music. The title of this collection is quite accurate.
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Format: Audio CD
All I can say is my daughter loves it, and I love playing it for her. The songs are catchy and fun, and Jerry and Dave's voices are such a pleasure to listen to, especially after suffering though Elmo, Barney and Friends, and other "kid's recordings". Also, exposing children to the music of Jerry Garcia and Dave Grisman is a very good for them, and it gives me a thrill to see my child enjoying their music, just like I do.
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