Dan Zanes / Elizabeth Mitchell

Turn Turn Turn

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Turn Turn Turn represents the first musical collaboration between longtime friends Dan Zanes and Elizabeth Mitchell, two prolific artists who have been walking very similar paths yet have somehow, until now, managed to avoid traversing those roads in tandem. Both Zanes and Mitchell ended up as pillars of family folk music after spending their formative years in rock bands, Zanes with '80s roots rockers Del Fuegos and Mitchell with minimalist, '90s indie pop outfit Ida, so it should come as no surprise that their first project together is an eclectic affair. Recorded with the help of Mitchell's family band, You Are My Flower, the album comprises ten familiar folk pieces (including a warm and wordy rendition of the Pete Seeger-penned title cut that utilizes recently unearthed lyrics), five Zanes originals like the bluesy "Coney Island Avenue" and "Hot Weather Music," and the folksy, fun, tropical, and topical "Shine." The collection is undeniably kid-friendly, yet ultimately devoid of the kind of lazy, repetitive earworms delivered in silly voices that tend to populate some of the less refined offerings in the genre. Zanes and Mitchell's pleasant utilitarian voices never preach, nor do they dazzle with pop idol acrobatics; rather they convey a kind of front-porch, Sunday-afternoon intimacy that suggests a long history of hauling guitars, banjos, ukes, and boxes of egg shakers and tambourines down unmarked trails and steep stone steps to assorted birthday picnics, family camping spots, and backyard barbecues, in the hopes that a bonfire may be lit, marshmallows will be toasted to imperfection, and the night will end in a goofy, impromptu singalong.

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