Randy Kaplan review…May 9, 2019…..

RANDY KAPLAN

SHAKE IT AND BREAK IT

YELLOW THINGS RECORDS AND BOOKS

YT 700030

CANDY MAN BLUES–SHAKE IT AND BREAK IT–BOOGIE CHILLEN–IT HURTS ME TOO/SITTING ON TOP OF THE WORLD–DOING A STRETCH–CHICKEN CHUMP BLUES–BEEN YOUR DOG–ROLL AND TUMBLE BLUES–CROW JANE–FROM FOUR UNTIL LATE–SWINGING ON A STAR–LITTLE BROWN JUG

For his latest album for Yellow Things Records And Books, the master of old-time, Delta-influenced guitar, Randy Kaplan, has taken the songs and lyrics of the pre-WWII masters and toned down their perhaps-a-bit-explicit stories to make them both kids-and-adults-friendly.  It turns out to be a super-fun blues fest entitled “Shake It And Break It,” and, altho it is a set for everyone to enjoy, if you have a young’un at home that you want to introduce to the blues, Randy’s set is an ideal place to start!

We had a ton of favorites.  Leading off is “Candy Man Blues,” a re-working of a Mississippi John Hurt song, where the evils of too much candy are exposed, including “blood sugar thru the roof,” and, as far as brushing, “you’ll be down to one good tooth!”  Randy rides the “endless boogie” of the Hook to teach kids that “The boogie-woogie is in you, and it’s got to come out,” with the Detroit blues of “Boogie Chillen!”  Dealing with folks who call you names when you don’t conform is the ragtimey “Chicken Chump Blues,” while Blind Boy Fuller’s “Been Your Dog,” is, this time around, written from the dog’s point of view, her little doggie life changing when Randy rescued her from the Long Island Expressway!  He closes with a version of “Little Brown Jug” Randy first heard by Mance Lipscomb, and it teaches, among other things, “conciseness,,” and sparing the lives of bugs!

Randy Kaplan has taken many of the more familiar songs from the blues canon and turned them into an exercise “kids” from toddlers to us old-schoolers can all enjoy.  Natch’l fact is, “Shake It And Break It” will fill the bill until those young’uns grow into their “grown-up ears” and discover for themselves where these beautiful tunes originated!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

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