Monday, July 11, 2011

Hope Harris and her "Cousins Jamboree"

Hope Harris

When we got our copy of Hope Harris' "Cousins Jamboree", I have to admit that the record really took me by surprise.

Before we get into it, though, this needs to be said-- if you're a parent like me, you've probably been overly saturated with an enormous amount of Kids' music, mostly from videos. As a result, you've probably committed a great deal of it to memory. Against your will, even.

My guess is (stop me if I'm wrong here) when you see reviews for kid's music you probably get a little bit, er, I don't know-- let's say "apprehensive". Reading "It's got really catchy songs" may bring to mind times you were doing menial labor (the dishes) and humming "The Transformers" cartoon theme to yourself, and couldn't get it out of your head. all. day. long.

I'm no different. Even though I like some kids' music, the "old wounds" make me instantly skeptical when I'm presented with new choices in kid's music. Honestly, I used to give very little thought to whether my kids would actually like a certain type of music, because, let's face it-- I've fooled them. I've fooled them into liking all of "my music" so I can tolerate long car trips listening to "Grizzly Bear" and "Radiohead" without enduring any heckling from the peanut gallery.

Enter-- Hope Harris.

And suddenly, as I listen, I'm thinking a lot less about what preoccupies my musical tastes today, and thinking a lot more about what initially attracted me to music as a kid-- the energy.

At age 10, my first cassette purchase was the "Footloose" soundtrack. Granted, it was mostly a reactionary move--I really needed to listen to something other than the Kingston Trio and Henry Mancini, so I dug deep into my vacation allowance and reached for a tape from the Kmart clearance shelf-- one that I knew would provide a lot of energy and spirit to liven up the next 8 hours in the back seat of the station wagon. When I listen to the title track to Hope's "Cousins Jamboree", it takes me back to when I first fell in love with the "Blues Brothers" soundtrack. Big gospel organ sounds, big choruses, big rhythms-- all of it so huge and alien and exciting compared to the soft ballads that were usually coming out of the radio. Hope's music is like that-- big, friendly, and full of sound and energy, everything a growing child needs. Enjoy the video.

Other favorite tracks: "I Love Apples", "Hang on Friend", "I am an Alien", "Holcomb Rock Road".

1 comment:

Heather said...

I'm still skeptical ;) And, I'm totally giggling that you called it a record!! I was trying to explain to my kids just last week what a record was... Hmmmm... I think I'm getting old!