Nashville Sound! Frog Trouble by Sandra Boynton
Well, I was born on a Friday in the Florida sun
By the Kissimmee River and before I was one,
My Mama Alligator said to me with a smile,
You take a little bit of country and some slow rock-and-roll
And what you got goin' is the Alligator Stroll.
Sandra Boynton's latest song-and-CD compendium, Frog Trouble: . . . And Eleven Other Pretty Serious Songs (Workman, 2013), spans a whole lot of musical sub-genres under the general rubric of country music.
With a cadre of notable country-slash-pop musicians, Boyston's fifth musical volume lays claim to music in the manner of country-western, bluegrass blues, rockabilly, and honkeytonk, from the boot-scootin' "Alligator Stroll" to the folksy balladry of Alison Krauss's "End of a Summer Storm," to the 1950s wide-screen western movie soundtrack of "Frog Trouble," as the versatile author again celebrates the many distinctive forms of American music. Brad Paisley sings the hilarious "Copycat" (I really don't like it when you copycat!). As befitting a country collection, Dwight Yoakum sings about his dawg ("I've Got A Dog") and The Fountains of Wayne toss in the pro forma paean to country transportation, "Truck," while Tracey Musgrave takes on the achey-breaky blues of bedtime in "Heartache."
As she did in her Grammy-nominated Philadelphia Chickens: A Too-Illogical Zoological Musical Revue and the retro fifties' R &; B and pop-styled Blue Moo: 17 Jukebox Hits From Way Back Never, and her hard rockin' Dog Train: A Wild Ride on the Rock-and-Roll Side, Boynton once more spoofs the American songbook reverentially, while turning out giggle-getting lyrics and her signature goofy cartoon animals. With a CD of recording greats, complete lyrics with musical notation and guitar chords, and directions for making you own easy origami folding frog, it's a package to please all ages. As Kirkus Reviews quips, "This is children's music grown-ups won't mind hearing over and over, no trouble at all."
And if you're looking for a Sandra Boynton treat you don't have to read, check out her DVD starring blues great B.B. King and a passel of "high-maintenance" sock puppets, One Shoe Blues. (See my review here.)