Zanes Plans Starbucks Disc

Starbucks' Hear Music label plans to bring Dan Zanes back into its brew of exclusive albums. The artist, who previously contributed a track to one of the company's family compilations, is putting toge

Starbucks' Hear Music label plans to bring Dan Zanes back into its brew of exclusive albums. The artist, who previously contributed a track to one of the company's family compilations, is putting together a "dance party" disc that the label will issue in February.

"I think they've done something incredible, opening up this whole new way of selling CDs," Zanes tells Billboard.com. "And I love the whole idea of it. For me it's just so primal, the whole idea of 'let's have a dance party.'"

The disc will blend some of his older material with some new songs. "We have a medley of 'Twist' songs that we've done and it's a good excuse to play 'Walkin' the Dog' again. It's the true all ages anthem, I think," he says of the Rufus Thomas blues standard. "It's nice to just sit back and think what are some great songs -- old ones as well as new ones -- to do for a 'dance party.'"

Zanes previously contributed a version of the traditional work song "Pay Me My Money Down" to the label's "Gather Around (Songs for Kids and Other Folks)." A founding member of the 1980s act the Del Fuegos, he has in recent years has reinvented himself as an artist specializing in family music and has videos in regular rotation on Nickelodeon's pre-K channel Noggin.

The four discs he's issued through his own Festival Five label have been packaged as colorful board books constructed of all recycled material. While the Hear Music disc won't be done similarly, the environmentally sensitive Zanes says he's satisfied with the company's plans.

"We're going to do all recycled paper," he says. "They're really working on deepening their commitment to recycled materials, which I think is great."

In stores now is Zanes' new children's book, "Jump Up!" (Little, Brown), based on a song of his by the same name, as well as the DVD "All Around the Kitchen," which compiles videos he's done for Noggin and PBS' "Sesame Street" with nine songs recorded during a concert appearance. He opens a U.S. tour Saturday (Sept. 17) in Cleveland.