***Andy Mason***

Andy Mason's sophomore kids' album continues where Everybody Likes Pizza! left off, but with more instruments in the mix. Play It Again! is a solid collection of Americana tunes, slyly instructional songs, ridiculous sing-alongs, and eclectic covers. Everybody Like Pizza! was pretty much a solo acoustic affair, but this time around, Portales, New Mexico's favorite kids' musician utilizes jangly piano, a taste of accordion, twangy guitar, and the occasional standup bass.

Play It Again! kicks off with the honky tonk sing-along "My Cat's Got Fleas!" and the energetic tribute to swashbucklers everywhere, "The Pirate Song." Boogie woogie while you "Wash Your Hands," then follow along with the Simon Says-like "Monkey See, Monkey Do," a tune that sounds like a tinkling piano version of John Mellencamp's "R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A."

Mason lets his southwestern musical influences show on the cantina canciĆ³n "The Toilet Training Dance," the bilingual "Los Colores," and the Spanish-language ballad "A Mi Madre" and counting song "Los Numeros." And the country-flavored, perfect-for-Summer-Reading tune "Everybody Likes to Read" declares that ... well ... everybody likes to read!

What's interesting is Mason's choice of cover tunes: his barroom story-song version of the traditional "Hagdelina Magdelina;" his cajun-spiced version of Trout Fishing In America's great song "My Hair Had a Party Last Night," which fits in perfectly with Mason's Americana sound; his faithful cover of William Hargreaves' "Delaney's Donkey," made popular by Irish singer Val Doonican in the late '60s; and his breezy cover of The Housemartins' "Sheep," from their 1986 album London 0 Hull 4. Mason reworks the lyrics to turn "Sheep" into a song about trying to get to sleep, rather than The Housemartins' original sunny tirade against the easily-led masses.

Play It Again! ends with a live version of the crowd participation summer camp song "Bubble Gum," and the epic lullaby instrumental "Lalabye." And note that two tunes, "Kewsong," a waltzing country & western tune about Mason's daughter, and the aforementioned "A Mi Madre," were originally included on Mason's recently-released grownup album Lost Cowboy, which goes to show that the line between kids' music and grownup music is disappearing.

Andy Mason turns in a fun album of southwestern Americana tunes for the whole family!

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