Mike and Carleen McCornack

Sunshine Cake

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    9
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This release is Mike & Carleen McCornack's second collection of children's music and lullabies. Mixing acoustic guitars with their trademark harmonies, and featuring additional instrumentation such as harmonica, bassoon, light percussion, and cello, the McCornacks run through a mixture of covers and originals, which are all suited pretty well to their folksy style, which occasionally suggests Peter, Paul & Mary, especially on "Garden Song." They spend quite a bit of time over-enunciating; the otherwise charming "Angela Bundy" wavers toward over-singing. But this is likely a conscious effort to aid young listeners in understanding the words and singing along. After the rousing title track, things slow down with "Man in the Moon" and "Autumn Woods," but pick back up with the hokey charm of "Wooly Old Wally Walloo." Later, Carleen McCornack turns in a great lead vocal performance on a lilting, homespun cover of Mary Chapin Carpenter's "Halley Came to Jackson," the story of one small town's fascination with the famous comet. Sunshine Cake is a pleasant album that scores points for its use of acoustic instruments, as well as the McCornacks' obvious enthusiasm.

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