Some days just get away from you, so there's no KidVid Tournament 2008 matchup here... but.... Go here and vote on the Jimmies' "Spanimals" vs. Orange Sherbet's "Campfire Song" for supremacy in the Woody Guthrie Region bracket. Go, go now! Voting 'til 9 PM tonight. If you are having problems voting over there, please post here and let me know! (I won't post the comments, but I do read them.) Update #2: I've been told that people are not verifying themselves as being real. I know you're all real, but I think there's a follow-up step that you need to do after you've registered -- I think that's an e-mail, but I forget. In any case, check your e-mail for verification e-mails from Offsprung.
Leading off the KidVid Tournament 2008 is a matchup from the Woody Guthrie Region -- the #2 seed "Campfire Song" from Orange Sherbet with help from Hot Buttered Rum (off their Campfire Sing-Along CD versus the #3 seed "My Lucky Day" from Eric Herman (off Snow Day!). Vote in the comments below. One per family, please. Votes due by 9 PM West Coast time. "Campfire Song" - Orange Sherbet with Hot Buttered Rum Watch here (broadband link here) "My Lucky Day" - Eric Herman
One of the 2007 albums that just missed making my list of 20 favorite kids music albums of 2007 was Campfire Sing-Along from the Bay Area band Orange Sherbet with some help from the band Hot Buttered Rum (here's the review). I've been a little sad that the CD didn't get more attention, so I'm happy to have an excuse to provide more attention myself. I've found a video that the band put together with the artist Sarah Klein. Klein is friends with Orange Sherbet singer-songwriter Tamsen Fynn and will be showing a couple of her short films at the San Francisco Bay Area International Children's Film Festival this weekend. You can see the hand-animated "On the Farm" here (direct link to broadband version) and the live-action bread-filled "Feed the Starter" here (again, direct link to broadband version). They're both cute, in different ways But those are from an older Orange Sherbet album, and I'm all about the new. (Usually.) So I'm most excited to find the hand-animated video for Campfire Sing-Along's leadoff track, "Campfire Song" (broadband link here). As you might expect, it involves a bear, which I always find to be a good thing.
Two is better than one. Or, in this particular case, fifty-one is better than two. Fifty-one is, as best as I can tell, the total number of people singing or playing on Campfire Sing-Along, the recently-released fourth album by the Bay Area duo Orange Sherbet. You might be thinking, last time I checked, "duo" meant, well, two people. And, yes, Jill Pierce and Tamsen Fynn are indeed a duo. But they've pulled in a whole host of family and friends to sing a collection of campfire sing-along favorites. Sometimes the friends are older (such as Charity Kahn from Charity and the JAMband, who makes an appearance on "Sippin' Cider"), sometimes they're younger (the chorus of kids who appear on old chestnuts like "Make New Friends" or "Down by the Bay"). Most are fun, or at least an excellent reminder of songs you can sing at your own campfire. What turns this album into more than a very enjoyable version of a "Wee Sing" CD is the presence of the Northern California roots/bluegrass band Hot Buttered Rum, who join forces with Orange Sherbet and, occasionally, the rest of the 51 for great versions of traditional sing-alongs -- "Down By the Riverside," "She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain," "Frog Went A Courtin'," among others. Making the CD stand out, however, are the originals, contributed by members of both bands -- "Bit By Bit" is an awesome song about how little things make a difference, while "Marshmallow" is a fun sing-along that could've been written 70 years ago. It's in the originals most especially that the combination sounds very much like a West Coast version of Dog on Fleas. It's a wholly winning sound. (Oh, and I almost forgot. All this plus Dan Zanes. Yep -- Zanes makes an appearance on an original called "One Man Band," revealing a heretofore unknown skill in humorous spoken-word poetry. It's hardly a Zanes-ian essential, but it's amusing listening.) The 48-minute album is appropriate for all ages, though kids able to sing along, ages 3 through 9, are probably more likely to enjoy the CD. You can listen to samples or at the album's CDBaby page (at which you can hear some of "Bit By Bit"). The best parts of Campfire Sing-Along are where Orange Sherbet and Hot Buttered Rum combine to make timeless songs sound fresh and new songs sound like they've been part of the canon forever. (Who would've thought orange sherbet and hot buttered rum would taste so good together?) There are enough such moments here to make this recommended, even if you don't plan to get any closer to the great outdoors than your local park.