2017 was filled with amazing music that both parents and children could enjoy. In fact, these days almost every year is filled with amazing music thanks to the world of independent and major recording artists creating it for the entire family. Since we launched fullvanfun.com, we’ve been fortunate to listen to, review (as time allows), and occasionally premiere, a world of family music albums. For the last two years, we’ve also had the honor to be a judge in the annual Fids and Kamily Music Awards, one of the premiere family music awards. So, this year, we wanted to launch our own family music award, the Full Van Champion, to recognize the #1 album for 2017 (using Grammy Awards calendar – October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017), that our whole family enjoyed. For the award, we adopted a “March Music Madness” tournament format with 16 of our favorite albums competing head-to-head until the 2017 Full Van Champion is crowned.

Selection Process

To determine the 16 albums that would be competing for the award, each member of the family (mom, dad, and 6 of the 7 kids – no baby) voted for the 8 albums that they liked the best, without trying to rank them. We then seeded our tournament based upon the total votes each album received (e.g. #1 seeds typically had unanimous or nearly unanimous support, whereas #4 seeds generally had support from a few members of the family).

Last Five Albums Out

It was a close competition, and there were several albums that received votes, but just didn’t have enough support across all ages to make the tournament. Before we reveal the 16 albums that made the tournament, let’s take a look at some of these great “last albums out”.

Alphabet Rockers: Rise Shine #Woke

Big Buncha Buddies: Big Buncha Buddies

Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could: Revvin’ Up the Reindeer

Laurie Berkner: Laurie Berkner: The Dance Remixes

The Bazillions: Rock-n-Roll Yearbook

March Music Madness Bracket – Top 16 Albums of 2017

Now that you know how we got here, with no further delay, we present our March Music Madness, Full Van Championship bracket! Albums from StevenSteven, Lucky Diaz, Gustafer Yellowgold, and Rabbit! are the #1 seeds. Jess Penner, Jack Forman, Justin Roberts, and Emily Arrow have the #2 seeds. KB Whirly, Red Yarn, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and a David Bowie tribute album are the #3 seeds. Finally, Jazzy Ash, Pointed Man Band, Lisa Loeb, and Spring Bees have the #4 seed.

Lisa Loeb won the 2018 Grammy for her album “Feel What You Feel”, but in our tournament she’s a 4th seed – can she make the run to #1? Lucky Diaz’s “Made in LA” won the 2017 Fids and Kamily award, but missed out on a Grammy – will this be his chance to regain glory? Other groups like Rabbit! and KB Whirly made the tournament with EPs vs. full length albums – will they have enough in the tank to make it all the way to the end? There’s also a lot of debut albums in the tournament, such as StevenSteven’s “Foreverywhere”, Jack Forman’s “Songs from the Monkey House”, and Spring Bees “Spring Bees” – can these newcomers make a splash that ripples its way to the trophy? What about Justin Roberts? He was nominated for a Grammy for “Lemonade” – but his first round match is against himself thanks to his brilliant contribution to the “Let All the Children Boogie” David Bowie tribute album. Follow these stories and more over the next couple of weeks at fullvanfun.com as we find out who will be our Full Van Champion!

Interested in musicians like Amy Lee (Evanescence)Lisa LoebAndrew & PollyCaspar Babypants (Presidents of the United States)Danny Weinkauf (They Might Be Giants)Bryan Vander Ark (The Verve Pipe), Rissi Palmer, and Tim Kubart, travel stories about amazing destinations and adventures like the White House Easter Egg Roll, Santa Fe or Craters of the Moon? How about interviews with authors like Daniel Pinkwater or celebrity chefs like Fabio Viviani, Marc Murphy, and Jonathon Sawyer? What about recipes, ranks, reviews, or other tips for families?

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Comment below with who you think should be the 2017 Full Van Champion!