The Bottle Let Me Down - Songs for Bumpy Wagon Rides
Children's Music · 2002
This alt-kiddie compilation is wicked, playful, silly, and gross, just like the little snot-nosed darlings themselves. Song selections range from traditionals like the Waco Brothers’s bloodthirsty “The Fox” to children’s classics like “On Top of Spaghetti,” nicely embellished here by Jane Baxter Miller’s honky-tonk vocal and rollicking accordion. Rex Hobart and the Misery Boys make “It’s Not Easy Being Green” sound like a closing-time lament, cigarette smoke and spilled beer not included, while Jim & Jennie & The Pinetops’s “Down in the Arkansas” is just plain kick-butt bluegrass, kids’ music or not. Some of the tracks are mildly edgy for the genre: Kelly Hogan’s delightfully flirty take on “Rubber Duckie” might raise a few paternal temperatures, and Robbie Fulks’s “Godfrey,” an ode to a “sickly, unemployed amateur children’s musician,” is both creepy and catchy. But this refusal to sanitize things for the kiddies is part of the album’s raffish charm. “Well your parents are musicians, and we must convince the neighbors/ We’re civilized at our end of the block,” Cornell Hurd pleads in “Don’t Wipe Your Face On Your Shirt,” and the whole enterprise has the same we’re-all-in-this-together spirit.