El Bicho's Hive

A Collection of Reviews Covering the Worlds of Art and Entertainment alongside other Snobbish Ramblings.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Various Artists
Sony Wonder

Eddie Kramer is a legendary record producer and engineer who has worked with the likes of The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix to name a few. He had the idea for this collection to explore a different side of musicians that most of us don’t get to see. He wanted them to create music from their experiences of family and being fathers. With Sing A Song With Six Strings he gathers together tracks, six of which have never been released before, from a pretty good line-up that covers rock, blues and country.

The first three songs are about fatherhood. You can hear the love and joy from these men in Frampton’s “Mia Rose” and Marc Ford’s “Elijah.” Then the subject changes as Keb’ Mo’ sings about his grandmother in his cover of Bill Withers’ “Grandma’s Hands. There are also a couple of nursery rhymes interpretations with Slash’s “Sing A Song of Sixpence” and Stevie Ray Vaughn’s “Mary Had A Little Lamb.” Vernon Reid covers Hendrix’s “Up From The Skies,” but I didn’t see how it fit. Families are mentioned in the lyrics but it’s an odd choice even though it’s a good cover. Carl Perkins delivers a rockin’ “All Mama’s Children,” but the mix is bad because the music, while sounding great, overpowers Carl’s singing. Santana performs the sweet “Let The Children Play.” The album ends with four instrumentals. It would have been better served to break up their order unless the kids are supposed to be falling asleep to it.

This is a good selection for dads and parents to listen to with their kids. For everyone else, I am not as enthusiastic. You might not identify with the material. Also, there are not enough good new tracks to warrant its purchase because the best songs have been previously released. If you like the variety of artists, go ahead and buy it.