***Andy Mason***

Sometimes old-school is cool ... Fred Rogers, Bob McGrath, Ella Jenkins ... those folks kept it simple and sincere, fun and meaningful. The same goes for Andy Mason's Everybody Likes Pizza!, an album of originals and covers that's a throwback to kids' music when it only came in LP form, featuring Mason's vocals and acoustic guitar ... only!

Mason hails from Clovis, NM, home of Norman Petty's recording studio where Buddy Holly cut some of his biggest hits. Andy's no stranger to the music biz himself: He and fellow musician Joshua Belter have recorded and toured as acoustic duo Fast Time Constant for about ten years, and Mason jams with Clovis-based roots rockers Fun Brothers Band.

Andy extols the joys of family pizza night on the title track, and follows up with the positive affirmation "You Can Be Anything (If You Try)". Mason's "ZYX..." may not exactly be Moose Charlap's "Backwards Alphabet" from the 1966 TV production of Alice Through the Looking Glass, but it's silly fun just the same. Mason rewrites another well-known ditty with his own "The Birthday Song"; while "The Owee Song" not only presents a picture of an injury prone kid, it provides an entertaining way to practice the days of the week. "How to Make a Burrito" is, well, instructions on how to make a burrito, including the dangers of using too many jalapenos.

Mason closes the album with four choice covers: a fiery version of Richard and Robert Sherman's "I Wanna Be Like You (The Monkey Song)" from Disney's 1967 film The Jungle Book; Claire Senior Burke's "Robin in the Rain"; "Shake My Sillies Out" by Raffi and Bert & Bonnie Simpson (man, I had no idea it took three people to write that song!); and David Mallett's classic "Garden Song" (aka "Inch by Inch").

This is old fashioned children's music in the best possible sense: pare it down to the basics and let the songwriting and arrangements shine through. You can tell from the interactive and singalong nature of his songs that what you have here is a snapshot of Andy's live show. It would be interesting to hear Mason's half-dozen originals performed with a full band, but as it is, six strings and a voice are all he needs to make a great kids' album.

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