Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Cousins Jamboree

Cousins Jamboree

Spring 2011 Music
Ages: All Ages
CD Price: $15.00

Originally from Lynchburg, Virginia, and now residing and playing in Richmond, Virginia after years in New York, Hope Harris combines country and swing with a little touch of show music for a very pleasing blend on her second children's music CD. Unlike her first album Julie the Starfish and Other Lullabies which was more subdued, Cousins Jamboree takes a decidedly more energetic approach. Songs such as "Howdy Hello," "Hang on Friend," "I Love Apples," and the fun loving title track all exude country warmness and good time celebration. Though the majority of the album is danceable party music, when Harris turns her pen to such "lesson" songs as "Good Manners," "Seatbelt Buckled," and "A Little Bit Afraid," she does so with style and avoids becoming obvious or preachy. Her cover songs like the lovely "Down in the Valley," or the Andrew Sisters-esque "Five Little Monkeys," sit well next to her finely crafted originals. The album closes with the picturesque "Holcomb Rock Road," which plays like a taste of cool country water. Harris has a clear and friendly voice that reminds one of Kate Taylor and Patsy Cline. She is joined by a gathering of talented musicians, including Jeff Allen, Doug Yowell, Wells Hanley, Capathia Jenkins, Elizabeth Bruce, Ernesto Villa-Lobos, and Rob Friedman. Cousins Jamboree is produced by Rob Friedman, who is the co-producer of the Dan Zanes' family albums. The CD is packaged in eco-friendly cardboard, and includes a booklet with all the lyrics, for families to learn, enjoy and sing along with.

Lahri Bond   ©2011 Parents' Choice
Lahri Bond is a father, a writer, music historian and an art professor in Western Massachusetts. His published books include Spinning Tales Weaving Hope (with the Stories For World Change Network) for New Society Press and People of the Earth (coauthored with Ellen Evert Hopman) for Destiny Books.

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