When I received a review copy of “Banjo to Beatbox” by Cathy & Marcy (featuring special guest Christylez Bacon) from Sugar Mountain PR, I was quite skeptical. Bluegrass and hip-hop didn’t sound like a good musical combination to me.

I grew up loving hip-hop music and thought this album would be a lame attempt to exploit the music of my youth; however, I was pleasantly surprised by what I heard. So was my 2-year-old son X.

X loves to beatbox; therefore, he was instantly drawn to the music. His favorite track on the CD is “It’s the Beatbox.” In this song, rapper and beatboxer Christylez Bacon explains the history of beatboxing and gives us a lesson on how to make music with our mouths.

Although Christylez Bacon is no Doug E. Fresh, he does a serviceable job of delivering beats and rhymes.

In the song “Hip-Hop Humpty Dumpty,” the rapper delivers a contemporary version of the familiar nursery rhyme.

Cathy & Marcy have done a great job of successfully blending hip-hop rhythms with more traditional American folk sounds. Instead of creating one big mash-up by throwing all of the sounds together on each song, Cathy & Marcy have deftly alternated the hip-hop and banjo sounds to make the album more compelling. The genius of this album is that it allows each genre to stand on its own while subtly infusing sounds of the other. The songs “”Jubilation” and “Soup, Soup,” are great examples of how well these sounds can mesh without losing their unique character.

The album closes with the song, “New River Train,” which reminds me of the old gospel songs my mother used to listen to. My son X, really enjoys the rhythmic banjo. Whenever he hears this song, he pretends that he is a choo-choo train.

“Banjo to Beatbox” is a fun and innovative album. Although the music is geared towards kids, adults will find themselves grooving along with the rhythm.

Visit their website to listen to more of their music.

Stay Strong,