Catch That Train



All aboard for train-loving fun!

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Positive messages about inclusiveness, friendship, and nature.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Dan Zanes has a thing about trains. If your kids do, too, they'll love this folksy CD.

What's the story?

Dan Zanes brings his unique style to 18 folksy songs; enough of them are about trains to call this a theme album. With a troupe of talented friends and imaginative instrumentation, he delivers tracks (get it?) that are a cut above most children's folk music albums. For those who think that Dan Zanes is their little alternative-kids-music secret, it may come as a surprise to see this CD at Starbucks. But you will be relieved to know that CATCH THAT TRAIN is as quirky as any of Zanes' previous efforts. Highlights include "Mariposa Ole" (in Spanish, and including a beautiful vocal by Barbara Brousal), a very odd cover of the Rufus Thomas R&B classic "Walkin' the Dog," and the Children of Agape singing "Pigoo."

Is it any good?


Multilingual, multicultural, and multi-talented, this ragtag band of minstrels takes us on a lighthearted journey through a variety of musical styles with happy songs about locomotion, nature, and friendship, performed and produced with attentive care. Most of the album lopes along at a comfortable, easy, and interesting pace. The wide variety of instruments used will make the tunes more interesting to parents, and appealing and fun for kids. The lyrics and chords to all the songs are thoughtfully included, in case you want to play and sing them at home.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why trains seem to have become part of this country's folk legends. Also, families can try to identify the wide variety of instruments played on these otherwise simple songs.

Music details

Artist:Dan Zanes
Release date:May 16, 2006
Label:Festival Five Records
Genre:Children's Music
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old February 22, 2014


I grew up listening to this. It's wonderful.
What other families should know
Great role models
Parent of a 1 and 6 year old Written byjandrewworld June 20, 2010

I listened to this for a month straight and didn't share it with my kids.

To me, this album captures the magic of the seasons, singing about summer trips, and live music. Zanes blends traditional world music with his own sense of acoustic funk that is pleasant to the ears. And then he brings in some heavy weight guest musicians like Natalie Merchant (10,000 Maniacs), The Blind Boys of Alabama, and the great Nick Cave. Seriously, Nick Cave! After growing up hearing his brooding and dark music in the 90's, he some how seamlessly fit onto this album.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bythelovelymrsdavis April 9, 2008

Amazing Music for the Whole Family

Musically, this album is diverse and inspired. And thematically, it's packed with populist thought and community building. It's a socially-conscious album that we can all dance to. This is true family music, for all ages to enjoy together.


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