After losing his wife Roseann a year ago, West Richland musician Eric Herman is back doing what he loves most, singing catchy tunes for kids.
He'll give two performances July 15, one at 11 a.m. at the Pasco library, 1320 W. Hopkins St., and one at 3 p.m. at the Kennewick library, 1620 S. Union St. Admission is free to both concerts.
It's been a slow process moving forward from Roseann's death, Herman said. She died from pulmonary embolism relating to a long-time autoimmune disease.
"It's been a tough year to be sure, even more so for my girls to lose their mother," he said. "But we're dealing with it because Roseann would have wanted me to keep performing."
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Herman's daughters Becca, 11, and Evee, 9, tour with their dad during the summer.
"The concerts will feature some of the newer songs from Party Animal, and also a couple of brand-new songs from our next album, which is coming out in 2015," Herman said. "And, Becca and Evee will be adding some funny and sweet theatrics to the show."
Some of Herman's older songs also have taken on a new meaning for him, especially the Tale of the Sun and the Moon, which was another of his music videos that became a YouTube sensation. The song also was featured in the film Life as We Know It, which starred Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel.
"That song has taken on new meaning because of Roseann," he said. "It's now a bittersweet metaphor about the two of us."
Herman started playing music for adults when he lived in Buffalo, N.Y. When he moved his family to the Tri-Cities in 2004, he switched to entertaining kids with fun, energetic songs. He would also keep the kids' imaginations humming by introducing them to his Invisible Band during the show.
The Invisible Band faded into history in 2011 and was replaced by the Thunder Puppies, which is made up of visible musicians Dave Pettey on guitar, Chris Baugh on bass, Javier Ruiz on drums -- all from the Tri-Cities -- and Ben Macy of Oregon on keyboards.
Herman's music videos have gathered more than 40 million views from fans around the world on YouTube stemming from the debut of The Elephant Song in 2007, which was voted best children's song by the international Just Plain Folks Music organization. He also earned the Parents' Choice Award in 2009 for the What a Ride! album.
He's been featured on national radio and TV shows, such as PBS Kids, The Today Show, Fox & Friends and SM Kids.
"Roseann was the one who pushed me to do music for kids full-time," Herman said. "Even though it meant giving up a steady paycheck. She had more faith in me than I did back then. Sometimes I wonder how we'll carry on without her. She kept me on track."
-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @dorioneal