OWTK Kindie Album Reviews

American History + Rock & Roll = The Deedle Deedle Dees – Kids CD Review


The Sound: Low-fi, bluegrass Americana meets the 4th Grade social studies curriculum you wish you had back when you were in school.

In the Cafeteria, They Sit With: Dean Jones & Felice Brothers, Dan Zanes, The Hollow Trees

Best Moments: “American History + Rock & Roll” is filled to the brim with subject matter and characters you can really sink your teeth into.  You might not learn everything, nuts to bolts, about a person or event during a 3-minute rock song, but you’ll likely be curious enough to hit up Wikipedia as I did (I generously supply a few of those links in this review).

The Lowell Mill Girls get the Dees treatment via “Do the Turnout”.  It’s easily the most melodious, soothing tune ever about a labor strike.  Guest vocalist Ali Hammer gives supple voice to an 11-year old involved in the 19th century turn-out.

Amelia Earhart's little red airplane

“Little Red Airplane”, the album’s lead track, induces a foot-stompin’, back porch styled call-and-response that makes certain you and your little ones will never forget the paint color of Amelia Earhart’s plane.

“Tub-Tub-Ma-Ma-Ga-Ga” introduces the oddest of dances, one that could should initiate conversation about Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King and Gandhi.  While driving to school one day last week, the song did just that, ushering in a great discussion between the Bear and I about the Underground Railroad, non-violent protest, and supreme selflessness.

Have you ever wished you knew more about the design of Alaska’s state flag?  Yeah, me neither, but the Dees thought you might like to know a little bit about 13-year old Benny Benson and after listening to the uproarious “Growl Growl”, you’ll be glad they did.

Bonus Thoughts: Enjoy a little slice of “Growl Growl”, live and with horns courtesy of the Red Hook Ramblers.

Bonus Bonus Thoughts: Catch the Deedle Deedle Dees at the Meltdown! Festival in MA this weekend, or live in NYC as they wrap up their residency at the renowned Knitting Factory on April 10 and May 8.  For Philly area folks, come out to see the Dees on June 12 at the Kennett Flash, in Kennett Square PA, as part of the OutWithTheKids.com kids concert series!

Okay, Time to Wrap it Up with a Nice Little Bow: The Dees describe themselves as an “educational rock  band, a label that may or may not excite you.  After all, education and fun unfortunately aren’t always synonymous, but if the Deedle Deedle Dees prove one thing with “American History + Rock & Roll” it’s that the characters of our shared past, and their fascinating stories, deserve to be kept alive.  They also show that when put to song, almost any historical noun can be transformed into a raucous, danceable and, yep you guessed it, fun affair.  This album won’t replace your history textbooks, it’s not designed to.  Instead, the Dees play the role of colorful caulk, filling in some of the countless gaps and cracks in those flawed elementary & middle school lesson plans.

Buy “American History + Rock-n-Roll = The Deedle Deedle Dees” here.

*The Deedle Deedle Dees “American History + Rock and Roll = The Deedle Deedle Dees” was provided to OWTK for review. The opinions expressed above are unbiased and true – no arm twisting took place in the review process.

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