Beautifullyproduced by the man who co-produces the Dan Zanes family albums, RobFriedman, Cousins Jamboree cannot help but engagelisteners from the get-go, in large part due to the open friendlinessand musical purity of Hope Harris’s inviting voice. Hoperelies on the quality of her singing to carry the song andcompliments her young listeners by assuming they are intelligentenough to appreciate music that doesn’t rely upon gimmicks. Increating Cousins Jamboree, Hope’s wish has been tocreate a down-home, good-times celebration showcasing country,swing, jazz, blues, ‘50s rock & roll, folk, and show-tunesounds — a montage of American music — while at the same timereminding children that being kind to one another, looking out forfriends, and behaving with good manners is a happy way tolive.
Wrote Lahri Bond in his Parents’ Choice®Silver Honor Award review of Cousins Jamboree,“Unlike her first album Julie the Starfish and Other Lullabies,which was more subdued, Cousins Jamboree takes a decidedlymore energetic approach. Songs such as ‘Howdy Hello,’ ‘Hang onFriend,’ ‘I Love Apples,’ and the fun loving title track allexude country warmness and good time celebration. Though the majorityof the album is danceable party music, when Harris turns her pen tosuch ‘lesson’ songs as ‘Good Manners,’ ‘Seatbelt Buckled,’and ‘A Little Bit Afraid,’ she does so with style and avoidsbecoming obvious or preachy. Her cover songs like the lovely ‘Downin the Valley,’ or the Andrew Sisters-esque ‘Five LittleMonkeys,’ sit well next to her finely crafted originals. The albumcloses with the picturesque ‘Holcomb Rock Road,’ which plays likea taste of cool country water.”
Hope Harris’debut album, Julie the Starfish and Other Lullabies, wasdeclared an “instant classic” by parents and was nicknamed “themagic CD” because of its ability to relax listeners of all ageswith an ethereal blend of voice and guitar. The arrival ofHope’s two sons fueled inspiration for new material, which turnedout to be a handy way to keep the boys entertained! In light ofHope’s ability to sing a song that tells a good story with hercharacteristic open friendliness and total lack of pretense, CousinsJamboree promises to be another “instant classic.”
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