Michigan-based musician Papa Crow zigs and zags. His hushed, heartfelt debut Things That Roar was earnest, while the follow-up EP What Was That Sound? was… well, maybe it was heartfelt, too, but it was a heartfelt and fun album about flatulence, so I think you see my point about the zigging and zagging.
Having gotten toots out of his system -- so to speak -- Papa Crow (aka Jeff Krebs) returns to the warmth of his debut with his recent release Full Moon, Full Moon. If the first album sounded a little bit like it was recorded in the middle of a Michigan winter, this new album has a sunnier, more expansive feeling, like it was recorded over the course of some long Michigan summer days with many friends.
"Moving to the Beat" is a gentle ska-tinged tune featuring organ and saxophone, while "Great White Pine" is straight-ahead bluegrass tune about camping. If "I Wanna Rock & Roll" starts out softer than I'd expect a song titled that to begin, it ends with a suitably loud riff. Krebs says the album loosely follows a day in the life of a child from sunup to sunup, so as you'd expect, a lot of the album's second half is mellower -- "Give Some, Get Some," featuring Frances England, is a highlight, as is the title track and "The Michigan Waltz," the latter written by Krebs' grandfather.
You can listen to 3 full songs from the 42-minute album (most appropriate for kids ages 3 through 8) here. The album is made with evident care and craft, and will again appeal to families who are fans of Frances England, Elizabeth Mitchell, and Dan Zanes, artists who originally inspired Papa Crow. This album which celebrates the outside world is a worthy successor to both of its predecessors -- more so the debut than the cheekier EP -- and worth checking out regardless of how well you know his music. Definitely recommended.
Note: I was given a copy of the album for possible review.