Itty-Bitty Review: Color This Album: Chris Doud, Willy Tea Taylor, and More

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Saying that Color This Album came out of nowhere is an insult to Oakdale, California (east of the Bay Area), but it's also sort of true.  One doesn't usually receive music as good as this from folks entirely removed from kids music hotspots.

But here we are anyway.  The album is 19 tracks of Americana goodness from the Heckabad record label, home to Chris Doud, (his band) The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit, Willy Tea Taylor, and Joey No Knows.  There's the country bluegrass of "Larry the Frog," the Woody Guthrie absurdity of "Hop in the Car," and the bluesy lament "Lullaby to Stellaouise."  Or perhaps you'd prefer Bob Dylan-in-silly-mode "Crayons," the bluegrass raveup "Thirteen Bears" (it's the number of bears on the shirt, in case you're wondering), and the stone-cold classic of parental frustration/unconditional love "Take You Into My Arms."  If the 58-minute album runs a bit long and features a couple story-like tracks ("Elf Outta Work" and "The Ballad of Scruffers the Circus Dog") that bring the album to a halt, I guess that's what the fast-forward button is for.

Color This Album is most appropriate for kids ages 3 through 8.  (Listen to the whole album here.)  It's a romp through a world of animals and imagination, and the long-awaited (spiritual) sequel to the classic Bloodshot Records album The Bottle Let Me Down.  Here's to continued surprises (and hoping that these guys get a few gigs in the Bay Area if they want 'em.  Definitely recommended.