Based in the Twin Cities, The Sweet Colleens normally play Celtic-flavored roots music for adults, but they've branched out on The Monkey Dance: All the Kids Are Doin' It!, their first album for kids. It's a hodge-podge of styles, from the more rockin' title track and the especially fun Cajun'-tinged "No Beans, No Brownie" (the chorus soon to come to a home near you), to the more traditional "The Terrible Twos Step" and "Who's My Pretty Baby?" (Covering Woody Guthrie will usually earn you bonus points 'round these parts.) Though the Minneapolis Youth Chorus sounds great on a number of the tracks, they also sound a little out of place on the album -- I'd've rather heard the band tear through another traditional roots piece to get the kids dancin'.
The album will be most appropriate for kids ages 2 through 7. You can hear a few of the songs from the 41-minute album at the band's new Myspace page. For a first kids' album, The Monkey Dance is pretty decent -- some fun tunes, good musicianship, and a willingness to get playful. I'm recommending this for fans of roots rock. And I think if the band decides to record their second album for families and figures out what they really want to do, look out -- it could be seriously good.