When there’s a premise as promising as this — i.e., a tribute to the music made for the classic Disney films— one can’t help but be enticed. Happily then, A Dream Is a Wish: A Special Acoustic Tribute to the Magic Kingdom fulfills all expectations. With a roster that includes Tony Wray (guitar, banjo), Tim Crouch (fiddle), and vocals by Jim Benman, Dennis Parker, Kim Roe, Quillan Roe, and Sarah Logan, that’s to be expected of course, but it’s the exuberance, enthusiasm, and emotion that the players put into these songs which take them over the top, and well beyond the realm of magical memories and stirring sentiment. The effusive feeling that shines through The Lord’s Been Good To Me and I’ve Got No Strings recalls the giddy feel of the original renditions, while the tender touch given A Dream Is a Wish, Baby Mine and When You Wish Upon a Star, stirs the sentiment much the way they did decades ago when first heard.
That said, the bluegrass embellishment found here breathes new life into the material, adding an extra measure of robust revelry to songs seemingly made for this particular approach — the happy-go-lucky Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, the jaunty Cruella De Ville, and the deft tongue-twister rendered as a work-out, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious in particular. Likewise, it’s the combination of skill and sensitivity that allow these tunes to shine. Crouch’s fiddle finesse, Dane Farnsworth’s lithe piano parts, and Les Stroud’s breezy harmonica in the aforementioned instrumental, Cruella De Ville, offer but one example. So too, the tuneful take on Bare Necessities, with its playful vocals, Wray’s articulate fretwork and Crouch’s fiddle at the fore, bring a lively combination well-suited for any occasion that finds picking and grinning the order of the day.
The mix of songs and sounds is so perfect in fact, one has to wonder why it hasn’t been thought of before. No matter though. The music is timeless, and the treatment that’s given is as well. True to its title, this particular offering makes for a genuine dream come true.