If you have juveniles in your life, you need to know about Randall Goodgame and Andrew Peterson's Slugs and Bugs CDs. The original--Slugs and Bugs and Lullabies--came out a few years ago and quickly became a standard at the Rogers house. These guys have a gift for talking about the world in ways that make sense to kids--not the way kids ought to think about things, but the ways they actually do. "Bears," my favorite from the original Slugs and Bugs, says, Bears, bears, they've got no cares, Bears don't drink from a cup. Sharp teeth and claws and furry paws To catch you and eat you up.
To me that sounds about right for children's music. It says what we're all thinking about bears. They're kind of cute. But they're also kind of dangerous. That's the ethos of Slugs and Bugs: straight-ahead, not too cutesy. And musically excellent. These are very fun songs that take their young listeners seriously. There's no talking down or preaching.
I'm happy to report that there is now a Slugs and Bugs Christmas record, titled, appropriately enough, A Slugs and Bugs Christmas. It has all the humor and wisdom you would expect from Randall Goodgame and Andrew Peterson, and the music is surpassingly good. I'm talking about Ron Block on banjo, Buddy Greene on harmonica, and other equally talented musicians playing a rich and varied collection of other instruments. Plus a children's choir that includes three of my kids.
Here are a couple of samples to whet your appetite for this great Christmas CD.
The first track on the CD is "Happy Birthday Jesus." [audio:http://www.jonathan-rogers.com/audio/01 Happy Birthday Jesus.mp3]
Track #2 is "Building a Gingerbread House." [audio:http://www.jonathan-rogers.com/audio/02 Building a Gingerbread House.mp3]
And I was trying to resist, but you have to hear "The Camel Song," which is perfectly ridiculous. And hilarious. [audio:http://www.jonathan-rogers.com/audio/08 The Camel Song.mp3]
It's not too late; go buy your copy of A Slugs and Bugs Christmas at The Rabbit Room Store. You can get it as a digital download or they'll ship you a CD (though they can't promise the CD will get to you in time for Christmas).
BONUS VIDEO: Here's a short video of the Slugs and Bugs children's choir in the recording studio.