Randy Kaplan

Randy Kaplan
Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie

Kazoo Music

By Lady K
December 2012

Just in time for the holiday gift-giving season, Randy Kaplan and a cast of thousands (nearly) produced this light-hearted blues CD with the goal of educating a brand-new generation of potential blues lovers, aka “kids.” There’s a stamp affixed to the CD which explains that it is “A kid friendly romp through American blues history.” Seriously – the tunes do romp!! There are no “kids” in Lady K’s life, never really have been, and Lady K doesn’t have a clue about which specific age-group of little people would be drawn to Kaplan’s tutorial; that will have to be left to the kid-experts out there. It would seem that once a tot starts showing any interest in music, verbalizing and/or mimicking speech and singing, then it might be time; the promotional material forwarding the CD indicated that it is geared toward the “under 12 set.”

What Kaplan has done is put together a CD with 17 blues and ragtime tunes – not covers, but rather amended versions of well-loved tunes, with the music lightened and lyrics more child-friendly than the originals (there’s yodeling and tap-dancing in the background and there are little voices singing backup to Kaplan). Kaplan’s version of Muddy Waters’ “Sugar Sweet” is about a puppy!!!! And every 3 or 4 tunes, there’s a little chit-chat from Randy Kaplan and Lightnin’ Bodkins, introducing and describing the next few tunes. To Lady K, all of the child-proofing renders the tunes definitely not for this grown-up; BUT if you have kids in your life or know someone who does, Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie is more blues-friendly than your average little-people music.

One assumes that blues-loving parents (and grands, and greats) will adore this CD because it’s bound to replace some of the music that they find themselves listening to over and over again, on long car trips or during kid-sitting stints. Probably this CD would make a terrific gift for kids OR for those very same blues-loving parents (and grands, and greats). It is something for anyone with toddler seats in their cars, something which will entertain the young ones (along with providing a little blues education) – and which will be a tad less painful to grown-ups than your basic Sesame Street ditties (not that there’s anything wrong with those).

So, while Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie ain’t grown-up blues, it’s bound to be engrossing to ears much younger than Lady K’s. She is now going to package the CD up and return it to the Boston Blues Society’s Mr. Managing Editor, who has a young daughter who will soon be ready for Randy Kaplan. Lady K is relishing the image of Mr. Managing Editor listening to this CD over and over and over again.

Lady K highly recommends Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie to all of potential blues-lovers out there who are, at this moment, too young to read this review.

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