Joe Ross | The Crazy Zoo: an Animal Songfest

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Kids/Family: General Children's Music Folk: Traditional Folk Moods: Mood: Fun
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The Crazy Zoo: an Animal Songfest

by Joe Ross

A playful folk and bluegrass animal songfest for frolicking, fun-filled families. With Peter Ostroushko, Bryan Bowers, Radim Zenkl, Dean Magraw, and others.
Genre: Kids/Family: General Children's Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Cat Came Back
6:06 $0.99
2. The Crazy Zoo
4:56 $0.99
3. Six Little Ducks
1:23 $0.99
4. The Unicorn
3:19 $0.99
5. Twin Peaks
0:53 $0.99
6. The Sow Took the Measles
1:40 $0.99
7. Puff the Magic Dragon
5:13 $0.99
8. Opera Reel
1:47 $0.99
9. Tennessee Stud
3:40 $0.99
10. Old Rattler
2:42 $0.99
11. Baby Beluga
2:19 $0.99
12. Crawdad
3:49 $0.99
13. Turkey in the Straw
3:47 $0.99
14. Last Call
0:50 $0.99
15. Goober Peas/Year of the Jubilo
2:25 $0.99
16. The Fox
3:22 $0.99
17. The Tale of a Bear
2:37 $0.99
18. Touch the Earth
4:40 $0.99
19. Joy to the World
3:04 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
In his liner notes, Joe Ross says, "Musicians should periodically think about how they hear and feel music, and we must also be able to help others feel it. Thus, my personal reflection on this concluded that my own music is fun, playful, and even silly at times." On "The Crazy Zoo: an Animal Songfest," Ross' goals are to both entertain and educate, by getting audience members to interact, clap or sing along.

"I've always tried to have fun with music, and this is what this album tries to convey.

Everyone should experience the joy and unity that playing and singing together bring." Ross is a member of the Northwest on Tour juried artist roster and frequently performs for family shows and festivals throughout the region.

"The Crazy Zoo: an Animal Songfest" offers a number of songs from the genres of bluegrass, folk, campfire songs, Celtic, children's music, and original music.

Ross admits that it began as a project for kids but evolved to become something more.

"We think that folks of all ages should like these frolicking, fun-filled family songs that will have you singing, smiling and tapping your toes from the first verse of 'The Cat Came Back' on." Besides cats, the album offers tunes about bears, unicorns, dragons, ducks, horses, dogs, whales, crawdads, turkeys, and foxes.

Ross' original title cut, "The Crazy Zoo" tells of other interesting animals, like the zepotamus, hippoingo, elezelle, pypard, goraffe, osthon, flammel, kangarich, and babkey.

The album's cover has whimsical depictions of these imaginary animal species.

On a more serious note, Ross' other original on the album is "Touch the Earth" which speaks to the frustration, desperation and despair experienced by Native Americans as they saw their resources exploited by the pioneer emigrants.

The song, written from an Indian's perspective, encourages us to "Arise now and touch the earth, before your day is done!" The 19-track album is targeted "for families from 3 to 93," and includes all the lyrics for nearly an hour's worth of music.

Multi-instrumentalist Joe Ross plays guitar, upright bass, and synthesizer on the project.

Vocals and harmonies are handled by Ross and Bob Evoniuk.

Artists collaborating with Ross on the project include: Bryan Bowers on autoharp & mandocello Linda Danielson on fiddle Bob Evoniuk on resonator guitar Dean Magraw on guitar Dan Mazer on banjo Janet Naylor on celtic harp Peter Ostroushko on mandolin Radim Zenkl on mandolin, bouzouki, low whistle Kathy Boyd of Portland, Oregon comments, "It's one of the most professionally packaged products I've seen in a long time.

We listened to "Zoo" last evening while eating dinner....

By the time the banjo was introduced, it was quite a pleasant surprise! We were all dancing around the house snapping our fingers in a Stray-cattish sort of way to the very first song on the album, and that was just the beginning of the fun we had.

Tom's daughter got excited everytime you sang a song she was familiar with.

The adults had an unexpected trip down memory lane when we got to sing-a-long with songs such as "The Unicorn" and "Joy to the World (Jeramiah Was A Bullfrog)."



to write a review

Kelsey Wood

Crazy Zoo is klang-da-de-klanging fun!
This gets you right in the middle of some toe tapp'n, foot stomp'n klang-da-de-klanging fun. Good wholesome old-fashioned imaginative lyrics, great instrumentation and colorful voices make this CD a fun family favorite of ours.

By Bob Mitchell (Reviewer for "Bluegrass Now" and Louisville Mus

Joe Ross and Friends
The Crazy Zoo: An Animal Songfest

By Bob Mitchell (Reviewer for "Bluegrass Now" and Louisville Music News."

"Zoo" is a delightful release that allows an adult listener to make friends with his or her inner child and it allows the young listener to giggle and have fun. The musicians are first rate and they handle each track with skill and love. Bryan Bowers, Janet Naylor, Peter Ostroushko, and Radim Zenkl are especially noteworthy. Two of my favorites selections are "Puff The Magic Dragon" and "The Unicorn."

Al Brinkerhoff

well produced and great recording quality
The "zoo grass" is really well produced and the recording quality is great.

Bill Fisher, Victory Music Review

Great fun!
...A remarkably listenable set with wonderful mandolin, banjo and (of course) autoharp licks abounding and even a few odd fragments of instrumentals from Zenkl and Bowers. This is not the sort of CD you'd be unhappy about hearing frequently on your children's boom boxes. In fact, what a glorious replacement for the Barney and Elmo music that makes you feel guiltily genocidal. In the end, this music is great fun, reflecting the pleasures that clearly went into its creation. And, for that, we give thanks!

Graham Lees

A well-produced project that kids of all ages will relate to
Something a little different to the sort of albums that I'm used to reviewing is Crazy Zoo containing 19 tracks with music that Joe Ross sights as an hour long disc for families between 3 and 93. Joe Ross and his friends are well versed in the folk and bluegrass fields and all skilled musicians playing a wide range of acoustic instruments ranging from Bryan Bowers playing autoharp and mandocello, Linda Danielson on fiddle, to banjo played by Banjer Naylor and resonator guitar which is played by Bob Evoniuk with Radim Zenki playing mandolin, Irish bouzouki and low whistle and more, more and even more instruments and musicians.

Joe Ross takes lead vocals and has written two of the numbers including the title track "Crazy Zoo" and "Touch The Earth". We can find seven traditional numbers such as "Six Little Ducks", "Turkey In The Straw", "The Fox" and I'm sure many readers will remember "The Crawdad Song". Just a few of the other numbers to be found include Shel Silverstein's classic "The Unicorn" and Peter Yarrow's "Puff The Magic Dragon" that have stood the test of time with generations of children. Another well known track comes with Jimmie Driftwood's "The Tennessee Stud" and we are also treated to Burl Ives "Goober Peas/Year Of The Jubilo".

Crazy Zoo is a well-produced project with a few shining nuggets that kids of all ages will relate to. Clearly a labour of love…Crazy Zoo will be an instant hit with all your rug-rats and ankle-biters and even a few grizzled old-timers will relate to a few of the numbers. An infectious album that takes a nostalgic journey back to the childhood of many years ago.

Emily, Timothy, and Daniel

Best CD we have - we gave it to everyone this year for Christmas!
We all love this CD so much! Even Mom doesn't complain when we play it all the time in the car! Mom found it here a while ago and we listen to it a lot! We all decided it would be great as a gift so we came back and bought more! Crazy Zoo, the Unicorn Song, and Puff the Magic Dragon are our favorites, and Mom likes the Crawdad Hole song. She even sings it in the kitchen! This CD is great for all ages (we're 3, 5, and 8) and you definitely won't be disappointed!

Kim Angelis

This is uplifting and joyous music, very well performed. There are several classic tracks on this CD that are sure to generate radio airplay. If you want to thoroughly enjoy yourself, and for a good cause, buy this CD!!

David Royko, Bluegrass Unlimited magazine

Grab this disc for your next family road trip
The Unicorn, Puff the Magic Dragon, Crawdad, The Fox, Baby Beluga, Tennessee Stud, Six Little Ducks, The Cat Came Back, you get the idea. Joe Ross has subtitled this hour-long disc, "For families from 3 to 93," and there should be familiarities here for everyone in that range. Ross' friendly baritone voice gives all of the tunes an informal approachability that invites singing along. Grab this disc next time the family heads out for a road trip, that is, if you can wrestle control of the car audio away from a seven-year-old addicted to the Backstreet Boys (our family's current state).
One way Ross trumps many artists offering kids' songs is via his musical friends: Bryan Bowers, Linda Danielson, Bob Evoniuk, Dean Magraw, Dan Mazer, Janet Naylor, Peter Ostroushko, and Radim Zenkl. If those are the types of gatherings your kids get to hear in your living room, all I can say is you have better ammunition than I against those Backstreet Boys.
--David Royko, contributing writer, Bluegrass Unlimited magazine

Frank Overstreet

Wonderful presentation of good music!
Every song and tune is well played and will delight the young, middle aged and older fans who love music. The way Joe phrases and pronounces the words indicate he has been strongly influenced by the folk music in the 1960s. His voice is in the lower vocal range and very enjoyable. Bryan Bowers is well known as a great autoharp player and he gives us some good moments on several songs. Banjo Dan Mazer's five strings speak on "Tennessee Stud" and other songs. This is a wonderful presentation of good music and should find a home in everyone's record collection. This project has been nominated for a Parent's Choice Foundation Fall Award. Sincerely, Frank Overstreet, SPBGMA Bluegrass Music News

Cathy Levin

A gem for every child's CD collection...
"The Crazy Zoo" is a CD sure to make everybody smile, from toddlers through grown-ups. You will buy it for a child, but find yourself enjoying it just as much they do. The song selection is fresh and interesting, with lyrics sweet and funny for enjoyment at many levels. You can just hear the big smile in Joe Ross' rich baritone voice, and the way he phrases the lyrics guarantees to draw you into the humor or sentiment of every song. The musicianship is outstanding, and contributions by Peter Ostroushko and Radim Zenkl on mandolin, Dean Magraw on guitar, and Bryan Bowers on autoharp really make this project sparkle. The wonderful variety of acoustic instruments gives a full-flavored harmony to every song. This will be one of our favorite family CD's, and every child on my Christmas list is getting one too! It is a treasure!
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