After years of rocking in the 1980s with the Del Fuegos, singer/songwriter Dan Zanes created his own band, the Dan Zanes Trio, in 1994.
The group got started when Zanes was hanging out with producer Mitchell Froom in Lower Manhattan; after adding drummer Jerry Marotta, they began playing their sparse blues and folk-rock to small crowds in clubs like the CBGB Gallery. Produced by Froom, the trio's debut LP, Cool Down Time, a raw rock effort influenced by '60s-era R&B, appeared in 1995. In 2001 Zanes resurfaced with the children's folk-tinged Rocket Ship Beach, featuring "friends" Sheryl Crow, Suzanne Vega, Donald Saaf, Rankin Don, and the Sandy Girls. Zanes continued his Dan Zanes & Friends children's series in 2002 with the release of Family Dance and Night Time. House Party followed in 2003, Sea Music and Parades and Panoramas: 25 Songs Collected by Carl Sandburg arrived in 2004, and Catch That Train! landed the following year. Zanes released Nueva York! in 2008, a collection of songs from Puerto Rico, Mexico, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic, followed by 76 Trombones, a collection of Broadway tunes, in 2009. In 2011 Zanes and friends released Little Nut Tree, a family-style mixed-bag set of typically upbeat tunes that came packaged in a children's durable board book. Zanes teamed up with Elizabeth Mitchell (formerly of the group Ida) for another family-friendly acoustic set, 2013's Turn Turn Turn. Zanes' next project was 2017's Lead Belly, Baby!, a set of fresh interpretations of songs by the legendary folk-blues artist Lead Belly, with guest appearances by Billy Bragg, Chuck D, Valerie June, Ashley Phillips, and many more. ~ Richard Skelly, Rovi