As a prelude to their 3,000th show and to celebrate thirteen years of glowing critical acclaim, the beloved “free-range, organic kid-folk” duo Hullabaloo has compiled a sparkling new collection of Hullabaloo favorites for kids and families. Their 13th album, Best of Hullabaloo: Volume Two, is set for release on February 24, 2017.
Over the past thirteen years, Hullabaloo has created a foot-stomping, wing-flapping career performing their trademark blend of American folk and roots music with a kid-friendly angle. For their “lucky 13” release, Hullabaloo’s Steve Denyes and Brendan Kremer decided to feature three favorite songs from each of the past five Hullabaloo albums.
Explains Steve Denyes, “We released Best of Hullabaloo: Volume One in 2009, followed by five new albums. To establish a milepost for our 3,000th live show, we wanted to bring out another ‘Best of’ album. Of course, the hardest part was choosing the songs, an impossible task, really. In the end, we chose a balance that reflected ‘fan favorites’ as well as our own favorite songs that we play live on a daily basis.”
Best of Hullabaloo: Volume Two kicks off with “Sleep Well Tonight,” featuring Hullabaloo’s signature updated country/bluegrass sound, this time floating on a cushion of hambone, Bo Diddley rhythm. With country charm and irrepressible silliness, “Dog Song,” a loping ode to man’s best friend written by the late, great Steve White, has a visceral appeal that reflects a combination of Woody Guthrie, Jimmie Rodgers, and re-runs of Hee Haw.
“I Wear Pink” is based on Steve Denyes’ real-life experience as a boy who mostly learned about life playing with his older sisters and other kids in his neighborhood who happened to be of the girl variety. Predictably, he wound up wearing a lot of pink and playing with dolls, that is, when he wasn’t surfing, skateboarding, and playing soccer and basketball with one of his best friends, Eileen, the neighborhood tomboy. Guest artists heard on “I Wear Pink” include kindie music luminaries Peter Alsop, Jim Cosgrove, Papa Crow, Laura Doherty, Dean Jones, The Singing Lizard, Red Yarn, Randy Kaplan, Pointed Man Band, and Mista Cookie Jar.
“Raise a Ruckus” –in the old days, a real “get down and boogie” staple on Louisiana Hayride and The Grand Ole Opry — has been given new, kid-friendly lyrics and updated energy. The evocatively colorful “Favorite Day” calls upon Lunch Money’s Molly Ledford to blend her vocal and xylophone talents with those of Dennis Caplinger on ukulele and dobro, supported by the great sound of Gunnar Biggs‘ slap bass.
Steve Denyes and Brendan Kremer met in kindergarten and have been friends ever since. Together they started playing music in the 5th grade band, where they vigorously exhibited their burgeoning talents on “Old MacDonald” and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” Little did they suspect that, decades later, these songs would still be among their biggest hits!