By Roger Bloom | NB Indy
Dan Zanes, who comes as close as anybody to fitting the description “modern troubadour,” will be at the Performing Arts Center for three family shows next weekend.
Zanes plays an eclectic mix of music that is often based on folk or roots music, but he skillfully weaves in elements – and, often, guest artists – of other styles, from reggae to rock. Most notably, he is one of those rare performers who has a great rapport with children but also maintains a lot of appeal for adults.
As New York Times Magazine said, “Zanes’ kids music works because it is not kids music; it’s just music.”
Zanes first made a musical splash as a member of the ’80s band The Del Fuegos. In the ’90s, as a new father, he began playing music with other fathers from local playgrounds. Calling themselves the Wonderland String Band, they played at parks and parties. Buzz built, they began recording some songs, and in 2000 Zanes released “Rocket Ship Beach,” to much critical and some commercial success.
He has since recorded several other albums, featuring guests such as Sheryl Crow, Lou Reed, Aimee Mann, Loudon Wainwright III, Father Goose and Suzanne Vega. He won a Grammy for best musical album for children for 2007’s “Catch That Train!’
Dan Zanes and Friends will perform at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, and 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 17, in the Samueli Theatre at the OC Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $25. Call 714-556-ARTS.