Mid-Week Madness # 927

Sandbox, Are We There Yet?

This Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, NC, quintet keeps it rural without going overboard on the hokeyness. In fact, Sandbox's mix of country, early '80s new wave, roadhouse honky tonk, doo-wop, and rock & roll will entertain the whole family. From the cowbell rock of "I Like to Win" to the country/new wave hybrid "Pajama Party," from the sweet country pop of "Dream Song" to the educational powerpop of "Chromosome," from the radio-ready "PB Jam" to the twangy doo-wop of "Car Rides," there's something here for everybody. And don't miss "Jump Jump!", the band's ready-made live show participation tune. A fun, funny, sweet and silly album!

Zev Haber, Chicken Scratch

Chicken Scratch, the third kids' album from Mount Vernon, NY, musician Zev Haber, is a great collection of simple but eclectic tunes that almost defy categorization. Dig the Steely Dan vibe of "Pasta Pete," the down-and-out blues of "Garbage Truck," and the Sesame Street-ready "What is Good in My Neighborhood." The title track introduces the world to the hottest preschool dance in the land, while the cumulative samba "Three Little Muffins" and the really silly "Family Band" round out the musical fun. This is pretty much a solo effort by Zev, except for various guitar tracks by John Kelly. For fans of Duke Puddintown or Mr. David!

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