There’s a ton of puns that use “fiddling” in both the musical sense as well as wasting time. Canadian violinist Gordie “Crazylegs” MacKeeman may take umbrage with the idea that fiddle-playing is also time-wasting. Since first becoming a song-and-dance performer at age six, he has evolved into a dynamic, engaging performer. Gordie gained the nickname “Crazylegs” at age 14 for his enthusiastic performance at the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival. He is now expanding his reach into children’s music through his first family album, Folk for Little Folk, Volume 1.
The space for revivalist American music reaches across a spectrum that includes jazz aficionado Lucy Kalantari to blues devotee Jenn Cleary to roots reconstruction architect Red Yarn. The heartland was also a hotbed for traditional bluegrass, and Gordie brings his infectious combination of skilled fiddle playing and fleet-footed dancing to the dance. And quite a dance it is. Kids who have been schooled in kindie will be familiar with classics such as “All Around the Kitchen,” “Ladybugs’ Picnic,” Roger Miller’s “Oo-De-Lally,” and “Old MacDonald.” Gordie brings a modern sensibility to the chestnut “Big Rock Candy Mountain”:
On the big rock candy mountain, the wifi’s good and strong
Naptime’s always optional and cartoons all day long
Where love is all around you and the sun shines every day
I’m bound to go where there ain’t no snow
Where the rain don’t fall, and the wind don’t blow
On the big rock candy mountain
Gordie contributes a number of original tunes that fit snugly into his pickin’ and grinnin’ mix, such as “Boogie Woogie Baby” and “Snaccident,” a song about throwing your stomach a happy curveball, which gives him a chance to show off his vocal dexterity and versatility. A “yummy in your tummy surprise,” indeed. Right now, Gordie MacKeeman may be a difficult name to see (or spell). But as his songs work their way into your child’s brain, you’ll grow accustomed to his brand of animated interaction.
Born and raised in New York (with a brief sojourn in New Jersey during his preteen years), Jeffrey Cohen lives in New York with his two sons. He has reviewed children's music for the past 14 years on his own blog. Jeff's podcast, "MrJeff2000 Explains It All" is available through iTunes.