Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hope Harris - Cousins Jamboree: A CD Review and Giveaway!

Create. Inspire. Instruct. Entertain. Enchant.

Originally from Lynchburg, Virginia, Hope has appeared on stages big and small from the St. James on Broadway to the Bluebird CafĂ© in Nashville. And these days, more often than not, you will find her surrounded by children whipping up her own brand of contagious theatrical, musical fun. According to Hope, it was less her training as an actress and her experience teaching music at the Sunshine Kids Club in New York City than it was her self-imposed training in the "backyard" that lay the groundwork for her energetic, interactive concerts. "As a child, I created and directed elaborate variety shows starring my baby brother, my little cousins, family pets, stuffed animals and lawn furniture. They were all a unique distillation of 'The Carol Burnett Show', 'Sonny and Cher', 'That Girl' and 'Peter Pan'...I destroyed many a nightgown 'in flight' off the porch!”

A graduate of the University of Virginia, and later the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre, Hope worked on Broadway, Off Broadway, and in Regional and Stock productions. While working in theatre with renowned Broadway writer/producer Frank Wildhorn (Jekyll & Hyde, Scarlet Pimpernel, Civil War), Hope also recorded her original children's lullaby project, Julie the Starfish and Other Lullabies, an ethereal blend of voice and guitar. Co-created with JR Getches, it was dubbed an “instant classic” by parents and has been called “the Magic Cd” which from the first note relaxes the entire family.  And with the arrival of her two sons, came new inspiration and a strong need to keep them entertained. 

Songs from her latest release, Cousins Jamboree (produced by Rob Friedman who among many other projects is the co-producer of the Dan Zanes Family Albums) have live audiences dancing in the aisles. As witnessed by preschool director Terry Tusing, “Hope has the ability to engage the entire audience--children as well as adults. She is energetic, upbeat and truly enjoys entertaining children. She puts on a program that you never want to end!” 

In between writing, recording and performing with her band, for the past three seasons, Hope has been a contributing scriptwriter and starred as Baker Bobbie in the acclaimed Chocolate Chip Chamber Music Series in Park Slope, Brooklyn.  Recently, Hope and her husband moved with their two boys to Richmond, Virginia. But at the end of the day, she admits her most challenging gig is chasing her "NBA team in the making", sons Beckett and Preston, around the kitchen without eating the cupcakes on the counter!

About Cousins Jamboree

With a 2011 Parent's Choice Silver Honor Award for her new CD Cousins Jamboree proudly in hand, Hope Harris is all set to share her music with the world! Rocking songs, whimsical songs, heartfelt songs, and soon-to-be sing-along-songs combine on this 16 track album.

In creating Cousins Jamboree, Hope's wish has been to create a down-home, good-times celebration showcasing country, swing, jazz, blues, 50's rock and roll, folk and show-tunes sounds, while at the same time reminding children that being kind to one another, looking out for friends, and behaving with good manners is a happy way to live.

Coming next from Hope Harris, in fall 2011, will be Picasso, That's Who, an album honoring great artists through the centuries. Looking ahead to Spring 2012, Hope plans to release an Earth-friendly CD titled Lemonade Stand

Track Listing:

1. Howdy Hello
2. Cousins Jamboree
3. Five Little Monkeys
4. Hang On Friend
5. Gelbart Dufrain
6. Down In The Valley
7. I Love Apples
8. I Can Do It
9. Eddie The Otter
10. Good Manners
11. I Am An Alien
12. Seatbelt Buckled
13. Babysitter
14. A Little Bit Afraid
15. Bright Moon, Bright Sun
16. Holcomb Rock Road

If you would like to listen to tracks from this CD, and other work from Hope Harris, go here.

My Review:

If you are looking for a children's music CD that will be ear pleasing to children and adults alike, that will have you tapping your feet and singing along, will have your child learning lessons like car safety, manners and turn taking, then Cousins Jamboree is the CD for you!

I have not had the privilege to listen to Hope Harris prior to this review, but I will for sure be looking to purchase her future work, as well as her lullaby CD. Cousins Jamboree is probably my favorite children's CD of 2011! And that is saying a lot, as with two preschool children of my own, and a home daycare, I listen to a lot of kid's music!

Cousins Jamboree has a running time of 42 minutes and is designed for children ages 3-10 years. My family's favorite tracks to listen to thus far are "Five Little Monkey's", "Hang On Friend" and "Seatbelt Required".

I highly recommend this CD and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: To purchase Cousins Jamboree, head over to the official Hope Harris website for buying options.

One (1) reader 
 a copy 
Cousins Jamboree

MANDATORY ENTRY: Head over to the Hope Harris website and tell me your favorite track from Cousins Jamboree

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***I received a complimentary copy of this CD, courtesy of Waldmania PR and Hope Harris, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I haven not been compensated in any other manner***


  1. I like the track for Down In The Valley.

    Thank you,

    Christine Womack

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    Thank you,

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    Thank you,

    Christine Womack

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    Christine Womack

  6. Down in the Valley (remember this from childhood


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