Personnel: Joe Ely (vocals, guitar); Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Billy Bragg (vocals, acoustic guitar); Taj Mahal (vocals, electric guitar, National guitar, organ); Kim Wilson (vocals, harmonica); Cissy Houston, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Syd Straw (vocals); Greg Leisz (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin); Rob Gjersoe (acoustic guitar, dobro, mandolin); Dan Wilson (acoustic guitar); Ben Mandelson (electric guitar, wah-wah guitar); Frank Fuchs (electric guitar, organ); Lu Edmonds (electric guitar); T-Bone Wolk (banjo, mandola, mandolin, accordion); Steve Conn (accordion); Les Lovitt (trumpet); Donnie Harper, Ian McLagan, Jeff Bova, Carl Leyland (piano); Arlo Guthrie (keyboards); John Mahon (marimba, percussion); David Sanger (drums, percussion); Christopher Parker , Martyn Barker, Tony Braunagel, David Raven (drums); Dickie Fliszar (percussion); LaTina Webb, Anthony Field (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: John Ugart‚; Marc DeSisto; Matthew Quave; Scott Noll.
Liner Note Author: Woody Guthrie.
Recording information: Avatar Studios, New York, NY (11/1999-10/2000); Bismeaux Studio, Austin, TX (11/1999-10/2000); Double F Studio And Soundesign, Brattleboro, VT (11/1999-10/2000); House Of Blues West, Los Angeles, CA (11/1999-10/2000); Monnow Valley Studios, Monmouth, Wales (11/1999-10/2000).
Unknown Contributor Role: Ben Mandelson.
Arrangers: Frank Fuchs; Kim Wilson; Arlo Guthrie; T-Bone Wolk; Taj Mahal; Billy Bragg.
As passionate as dust bowl troubadour Woody Guthrie was about politics and inequality, he was even more passionate about children, particularly his own. It has been long known that Guthrie left behind a wealth of unrecorded and half completed songs while he was living in New York near the end of his life, the most famous of these appearing as Billy Bragg and Wilco's collaborations on the Mermaid Avenue albums. It stands to reason that many of his incomplete song outlines would revolve around children, and many of these appear on Daddy-O Daddy!: Rare Family Songs of Woody Guthrie. "New Baby Train" provides a typically Woody view on the old legend of the stork delivering newborns, performed with a gruff sentimentality and bluesy harmonica by Fabulous Thunderbirds frontman Kim Wilson. Bragg himself appears on the album on the humorous "Dry Bed," recounting a certain growth step in early childhood, and also on "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8," chanting through a fun blast of nonsense sentences recalling his live interpretations of the Guthrie-penned "Hoodoo Voodoo." Nonsense lyrics seemed to have been swirling around the songwriter's pen since his satirical "Howdjadoo" in the early '30s, and these songs are no exception. Adults may cringe a little through the "zoop, zoop, zoopity-zoop"s and the "zippety hop"s, but kids are sure to love it, and grown-up artists like Taj Mahal, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely, and Cissy Houston keep the sound and feel of the songs a million miles from Barney's prehistoric tunes. ~ Zac Johnson
Q (3/02, p.131) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...For parents and kids both....Guthrie wrote so many great working man's anthems it's easy to forget thet the songs he wrote for his kids were equally touching..."