Former Del Fuego Dan Zanes has been anything but dormant since the rootsy college rock collective called it quits in 1990. Six years after his 1995 solo debut, Cool Down Time, Zanes discovered a way to merge his two favorite things (fatherhood and music) into a sustainable career with a series of folk albums for kids that has proven to be just as enjoyable for their larger counterparts. After snagging a Grammy Award in 2007 for the singalong album Catch That Train, Zanes, ever the cultural sponge, gathered his musician friends from New York's Latino community and began work on a collection of songs from the Spanish-speaking Americas. The resulting Nueva York!, referred to frequently in print by Zanes as his "pro-immigration CD," features 17 high quality songs, mostly traditional, that touch on many Latin folk styles like cumbia, merengue, son, and bachata. Zanes brought in some serious muscle this time around, including Marc Ribot, Panamanian actress/singer Daphne Rubin-Vega, Latin jazz singer Lila Downs, Mexican rockers the Villa-Lobos Brothers, and Afro-Colombian roots ensemble La Cumbiamba Eneyé, and he allows the spotlight to fall on them more times than not, resulting in a fun, all-inclusive listening experience that's a lot like sitting on a hot set of apartment steps during a summer block party.
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger
feat: La Cumbiamba Eneye
feat: Rubí Theater Company