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Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer - Banjo to Beatbox

Banjo to Beatbox

Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer

Available from Cathy & Marcy's online store.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

This is folk music for kids by adults and kindred to what the Nields are doing (here). Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer are similar in style and intent to Nerissa and Katryna Nields, and they've recruited the Bobby McFerrin-ish Christylez Bacon, the human beatbox, to help out on vocals and banjo. Banjo to Beatbox is very Sesame Street-ish, and who can resist that kind of thing? Everything about the release is positive, swinging, and has more than a little of the, as they properly claim, "fractured fairy tale" to it. In some cases, that means, cracking ol' Humpty's shell just a bit (Hip-Hop Humpty Dumpty) and at other times it runs to creating their own ditties whole cloth. From the beginning of the disc to the end, the entire atmosphere is that of a happy classroom, with ample kids' choruses thrown in.

The recording is somewhat amateurish, though, about what you'd call 'mid-fi' and the music deserves better documentation, especially because of the spare instrumentation. More, the 8 cuts clock in at only a half hour but you do get live Quicktime videos of concert cuts in the bargain, so it all works out. Banjo to Beatbox, despite a number of small shortcomings, is a nice little addition to the catalogue of discs for kids, especially the younger set. There's precious little music that is truly for kids nowadays, most of what they get is MTV or chart nonsense, and Banjo to Beatbox is 100% indoctrination-n-degradation free, just cool music for young ears, minds, and voices.

Track List:

  • Jubilation (Fink / Marxer)
  • It's the Beatbox (Christylez Bacon)
  • Syncopated Washboard Rhythm Song
  • Soup, Soup (traditional)
  • Froggy Went A-Cortin' (Fink / Marxer)
  • Hip-Hop Humpty Dumpty (traditional)
  • Barnyard Dance (traditional)
  • New River Train (Fink / Marxer)

Edited by: David N. Pyles


Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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