Gary Lucas

Busy Being Born

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

Accomplished guitarist Gary Lucas sends listeners on a multicolored carousel of "songs for children." He marches Jewish fight song singalongs, strums out Marx Brothers' tunes, and fingerpicks delicate acoustic originals. Busy Being Born includes great slide guitar; a Fiddler on the Roof tune; a traditional tune about turning clay into a dreydel done Ritchie Valens style; and what Lucas calls "an anti-lullaby" with a narrative reminiscent of Nick Cave's from-the-depths voice that's sure to frighten kids in a delicious way. Recommended for old and young alike. In all, the album is a rare, successful combination of silly kid-appeal and adult-sized ability, wrapped around a tweaked eccentricity that only the stodgy couldn't enjoy.

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