Fink And Marxer’s New Album Is One Of The Most Original And Enjoyable Children’s Albums Of 2015

Courtesy:  Community Music, Inc.

Courtesy: Community Music, Inc.

This past March, children’s entertainers Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer released their new album Dancin’ in the Kitchen. The album–released via Community Music, Inc.—was released specifically on March 17th. It was fitting that the duo released the album on St. Patrick’s Day. That is because luck was definitely on the women’s side when they and their fellow musicians recorded this outstanding collection of songs. The record stands out first and foremost thanks to its lyrical approach. It celebrates families and their many quirks in every form and fashion. The variety of musical styles on which the songs are built makes the album even more enjoyable. Fink and Marxer have also included short notes on the inspiration behind each song within the album’s companion booklet. It’s too bad that more artists—whether they be children’s entertainers or otherwise—don’t do this. It really helps give full insight into the songs’ inspiration and what message each is attempting to deliver. Whether for this aspect, for the record’s musical variety or its overall musical message, Dancin’ in the Kitchen offers audiences so much reason to hear it. They show collectively why this record is another of this year’s best new albums for not only children but grown-ups, too.

Dancin’ in the Kitchen offers so much reason for audiences to hear it. One of the key ways in which it proves itself so well worth the listen is through its lyrical approach. The fifteen songs that make up the album celebrate families in all of their variety. There is also a pair of essays in the form of ‘Dinnertime Orchestra’ and ‘Who’s in Charge of the Colors’ go deeper than discussing just the variety of families out there. Rather, one discusses the quirks that make our families special and the other ties in some social commentary to the discussion on familial variety. Both essays will have listeners laughing and thinking all at once. This is especially the case with Irwin’s essay about the colors assigned to people’s skin and the reality of those assignments. He is spot on here. And because of how right he is, he will really have audiences laughing and thinking all at once. Getting back to the compilation’s musical numbers, the songs that make up the record will make audiences just as happy as the essays. Fink and Marxer’s song ‘Happy Adoption Day’ is one of the best of those numbers. It is a happy yet still moving piece celebrating the joy felt by a family at adopting a child and welcoming that child into his or her new home for the first time. The story behind the song that is included in the album’s booklet makes it even more touching. There’s even an interesting up-to-the –times piece titled ‘I Belong To A Family’ that centers on the issue of children raised by two parents of the same gender. The issue of children raised by gay parents is a hot button issue. But Fink handled it with the utmost class and tact in this piece. It’s one more way in which the lyrical approach of the songs is so integral to the enjoyment of this record. It most certainly isn’t the last great example, either. Every one of the album’s fifteen tracks could serve to make this argument. Because every one of the songs could serve in this capacity, it by itself makes Dancin’ in the Kitchen well worth the listen by audiences of any age.

The lyrical content of the songs included on Dancin’ in the Kitchen is more than enough reason for audiences to check out this impressive record. It is collectively only one part of what makes this record so enjoyable for audiences of all ages. The equally varied sounds exhibited in each of the record’s songs makes for even more reason for audiences to hear this record. The album’s opener and title track kicks things off with a fun little trip down to New Orleans thanks to its Zydeco sound. The celebratory sound exhibited in ‘Howdy Little Newlycome/Ceilidh House Polka’ will take listeners on a trip across the Atlantic to Ireland in what is one of the record’s more interesting moments. It is so interesting being that considering its lyrical content, one would think this song to be more of a lullaby. But it doesn’t take that route. Rather it offers a more celebratory sound showing the excitement felt by a new mother. It is definitely a road far less taken by other children’s entertainers. That being the case it serves as one of the best examples of how the album’s varied sounds make it so enjoyable. The Appalachian sound exhibited on ‘Twins’—performed by The Canote Twins—serves as yet another great example of how the album’s varied musical sounds make it so enjoyable. Brothers Greg and Jere are joined by Fink and Marxer on this song for a full-on acoustic piece that will have listeners dancing and singing along thanks to its catchy sound and the brothers’ playful banter style lyrical delivery. As with the songs’ lyrical approach, this is just one more example of how the varied musical sounds that make up Dancin’ in the Kitchen make the record in whole so enjoyable. Together with the songs’ lyrical variety, both that variety and the songs’ musical variety make the album that much more enjoyable for listeners of all ages and even more a candidate for any critic’s list of the year’s best new children’s albums.

Both the music and lyrics that make up the body of Dancin’ in the Kitchen make for plenty of reason for audiences of all ages to check out this great new family friendly record. For all of the enjoyment that they offer audiences, they are still not all that makes it so enjoyable. Fink and Marxer have also included short blurbs in the record’s companion booklet about each song. While relatively short, the blurbs in question offer up just enough insight into each of the songs to make for more insight and in turn appreciation among audiences. This is an approach that far too few acts across the musical universe use in their albums and EPs. But being that so few acts utilize this approach it makes Fink and Marxer’s use of it that much more original and welcome. Together with the album’s musical and lyrical side, it rounds out the ways in which Dancin’ in the Kitchen proves itself a joy for listeners of all ages. Together with the aforementioned elements, Dancin’ in the Kitchen proves without a doubt that it definitely deserves to be on any critic’s list of the year’s best new children’s albums.

Whether for its musical side, its lyrical side or for the extra insight included in its companion booklet, Dancin’ in the Kitchen proves in so many ways to be one of the most original and most enjoyable records released for children so far this year. The concepts discussed in each song are accessible to both children and adults alike. And they are handled with the utmost class and tact, too. The varied musical styles incorporated into the songs makes them even more enjoyable. And the insight into each of the song gives them even more depth, making for even more appreciation for each work. All things considered Dancin’ in the Kitchen offers to audiences with these elements a work that again is one of the best new children’s albums of 2015. The album is available now in stores and online. More information on the album and all of the duo’s latest tour dates is available online now at:



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