Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sarah Lee Guthrie & Family -- Go Waggaloo

Go Waggaloo
Smithsonian Folkways

With Go Waggaloo, Sarah Lee Guthrie follows in the footsteps of her grandfather, Woody Guthrie, and her father, Arlo Guthrie, in making music for kids.

“My father,” writes Arlo in the liner notes, “took words and little tunes from my sister Cathy and turned them into songs for little kids everywhere.” And that’s exactly what Sarah Lee does on songs like “Don’t I Fit in My Daddy’s Shoes,” inspired her young daughter Sophia’s fondness for traipsing around the house in her parent’s shoes; “Take Me to Show-and-Tell,” co-written by Sarah Lee, husband Johnny Irion and their daughter Olivia; and “Big Square Walkin’,” about avoiding the cracks on the sidewalk (lest you break your mother’s back).

There are also three songs, including “Go Waggaloo,” the delightful title track, which are settings of kid song lyrics discovered among the thousands of previously-unknown songs from the Woody Guthrie Archives.

The album is quite rightly credited to Sarah Lee Guthrie & Family. Johnny, Arlo, various brothers, sisters, kids, nieces, nephews and family friends, like Pete Seeger and Tao Rodriguez-Seeger all take part. It’s a fun record for kids, and for us big kids who can suspend our grown-upness for a while.

--Mike Regenstreif

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