Trippin' Round the Mitten: Full of Happiness, Fun and Kibitzing!

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Randy Kaplan's Trippin Round the Mitten

TRIPPIN' ROUND THE MITTEN, the sixth album from award-winning singer/songwriter Randy Kaplan, is an album that, though it is marketed to kids…. is not just for kids.

It’s not, because it is full of fun happiness and storytelling that you can’t help but like, no matter who you are.

An extremely well-educated, well-rounded man, who has lived in many places around this country, it easy to see (and hear) the many people Kaplan sites as influences to his music and mirth-making: people such as Steve Martin and the Marx Brothers, Robert Johnson and Woody Guthrie.

But as a fellow native Long Islander, I personally would say his biggest influence was hailing from Dix Hills, a mere half-hour or so as the crow flies from my home town of Port Washington--and I dare say that is where he must have first learned his art of kibitzing (so apparent throughout this CD in between and during the songs).

This CD of 18 songs has something for everyone, from songs with a hip-hop beat to his own take on Maroon 5’s huge hit “Sugar” to a cover of Johnny Cymbal’s classic 1963 doo-wop hit song “Mr. Bassman” (as well as his own knock off version, “Mr. Spaceman”). There are homages to Pete Townsend as well as ELO. And if you don’t think he has the gift of gab, who else could work Dmitri Shostakovitch into a chat with kids? He invents words and incorporates them into his songs in a way that they sound right being there.

I love his interaction with the kids with whom he kibitzes throughout the album. He talks and has fun with them without ever talking down to them. Make no mistake, there’s an art to kibitzing that all too many people fail to achieve, try as they might. One might say it’s a lost art.

Gosh, there are so many songs to like on this album. “Honk Honk” is hilarious, and “Beach Song” (his own version of the Dead Milkmen song, which I can really relate to, made me smile from start to finish). “Mr. Bassman” of course is a fave, and then there is “Cat and Mice” and “On The Phone On The Toilet” which makes you think one way about the person the song is about with a nice twist at the end that has you going, “Awwww.”

Just about every song on this album owes itself to something or someone who influenced Randy’s life, and he possesses a gift that he coalesce the vapors of these influences in a way that entertains you from start to finish, all with a goal to make you just feel happy. I dare anyone who listens to this album (or any of Randy’s other albums) to not be just entertained by it, but happier afterwards.

It is so easy to pick up on the nuances as he sings and talks that he loves performing, he loves children, and he loves life. Do you really want to listen to music by someone who doesn’t have those attributes? Really? Even his 5-year-old son gets into the act with his own song! If he takes after dad, then the world will have happy music for generations to come.

This is an entertaining album for the whole family that is heartily and heartfeltly (a word?) recommended.

Songs on this CD:

  1. Honk Honk

  2. Trippin’ Round The Mitten

  3. Beach Song

  4. Supernude

  5. Mr. Bassman

  6. My Refrigerator broke

  7. Sugar

  8. Every Second Counts

  9. Jungle

  10. Comb Your Ears

  11. Car & Mice

  12. Tongue Tied

  13. The Komorns

  14. Sleeping Dog

  15. Mr. Spaceman

  16. Bye Bye Baby

  17. On The Phone on The Toilet

  18. Mommy Love Song

Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0