Thursday, March 12, 2015

Dancin' Around the Mountains With Cathy & Marcy

When you think about banjo music, is your first point of reference the movie DELIVERANCE? Or is it Steve Martin? If you think about bluegrass music, do you think about the theme for the Beverly Hillbillies? Or do you draw a blank.

Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer want to change your (and your family's) mind. Their brand of homespun countrified music seems diametrically opposed to the stereotypical perception of the Ozarks and Appalachian regions – theirs is a totally inclusive environment. Now stack that up against the residents of the mountain community from DELIVERANCE.

If bluegrass and banjo music are your thing, Cathy and Marcy are excellent gateways to introduce your kids to the genres. For their latest release, DANCIN' IN THE KITCHEN, Cathy and Marcy tout family as "a feeling of belonging," whether you have two same-sex parents, a transgender relative, or split your time between divorced parents. The symbolism of the kitchen is as a communal space where it's natural for people to communicate through word, music, and movement.

If you would rather concentrate on the musical aspects of the CD, stick to tracks like "From Scratch," a cover tune from Justin Roberts or "I'm My Own Grandpa" featuring the Riders in the Sky. Otherwise, the theme lands with a heavy-handed thump, typified in "Happy Adoption Day" and "Soccer Shoes," which traces the path of said shoes from residence to residence.

The production on DANCIN' IN THE KITCHEN is lean and clean. The guest lineup is packed with names such as the Savoy Family Cajun Band, Cherish the Ladies, the Canote Twins, and Kim & Reggie Harris.

The final song that is sung on the disc, "Everything Possible," harkens back more than 20 years. Originally Cathy and Marcy wanted to record the ode to unconditional parental love but were thwarted in efforts to gather a children's choir. Decades later, the world has changed enough that 35 children were gathered for the recording. That's a good thing and a progressive thing but not necessarily something I need to lecture my kids about. Especially to a four-year-old.

DANCING' IN THE KITCHEN is available from Cathy & Marcy's website, Amazon, and iTunes.

Here is the video for the title track, DANCIN' IN THE KITCHEN.

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