Sure, traditional holiday tunes are great, but what if you and your family want a break from the same Christmas music for kids you hear every year? Try these new collections of holiday songs for kids, with an emphasis on original tunes and unique versions of old-school holiday songs performed by current kindie rock bands. From the psychedelic pop of Todd McHatton to the jangly rock and roll of The Hipwaders to the 'round-the-camfire singalongs of Hullabaloo, there's something here for everyone. Enjoy this list of new Christmas music for kids and their families.
New Jersey-based Danny Alderman and Yosi Levin and Michigan-based Kevin Kammeraad combined their kindie rock skills to create this CD full of original and traditional tunes that celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah. Most of the songs are breezy, jangly, guitar-driven songs reminiscent of, say, John Mellencamp or Jimmy Buffett, but don't miss the band's full-on rock & roll version of "Frosty the Snowman."
Other standout tunes include the Byrds-like "Tikkun Olam," the Little Feat-inspired "I Have a Little Dreidel," the Professor Longhair-styled "Wintertime is Here," a garage band cover of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," and a clap-along version of "Deck the Halls."
Released October 1, 2009; The Kids At Our House
Bay-area kids' band The Hipwaders present 10 original songs celebrating the Christmas holidays. A Kindie Christmas won a 2010 NAPPA Honors Award from the National Parenting Publications Association, and includes jangly, R.E.M.-ish tunes like "Wake Up," "It's Wintertime," and "Yes, It's Christmas," and the cheerfully nostalgic "Tinsel and Lights." And don't miss the amusing "Christmas Vicuña," the tale of a South American animal whose dream it is to be one of Santa's reindeer.
Released November 3, 2009; Fausto Uquillas
On Express Your Elf Hudson Valley musician Robert Burke Warren (aka Uncle Rock) performs original and traditional holiday tunes in his familiar Americana, roots rock style. Dig the Bo Diddley shuffle of "Santa's Coming in a Whirlybird," the swaying waltz of "The Season of Light," and the country rock of "Hold It In My Heart (Thanksgiving Song)."
Uncle Rock also delivers an interesting array of covers, including "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," and "My Favorite Things." Great alt country holiday tunes from the former Fleshtones bassist.
Released November 17, 2009; Jackpot Music
This intimate but entertaining collection of traditional Christmas and Hanukkah songs features nothing but the acoustic guitar and vocals of Steve Denyes of the San Diego-based kids' band Hullabaloo. Denyes performs lots of holiday favorites, including "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "Dreidel, Dreidel," "Feliz Navidad," and "Frosty the Snowman."
Best thing about Holiday Hullabaloo...it's absolutely FREE! Denyes is offering the album as a free download from Hullabaloo's bandcamp webpage. Visit the site and get your free kids' holiday music album free of charge!
Released November 20, 2009; Hullabaloo Music
Boston-area kids' musician Ben Rudnick brings his friends along to perform spirited, harmony-filled covers of well-known Christmas songs like "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," "Frosty the Snowman," and Here Comes Santa Claus," as well as the original title tune. Rudnick and band give these holiday tunes a sort of summertime, fun at the beach, New Jersey Shore rhythm and blues feel, perfect for combating those cold days of winter!
Released November 2, 2010; Bartlett Ave. Publishing
Todd McHatton's dense, psychedelic pop is unlike any kids' music you've ever heard. The closest approximation might be a cross between Magical Mystery Tour-era Beatles and Harry Nilsson, who is actually name checked in one of the song titles on Christmas Songs.
The five original tunes on this EP celebrate Christmas in McHatton's own unique musical way, and he is offering up his "brief collection of holiday fun" as a FREE download! Oh, and his second kids' CD, Sundays at the Rocket Park was included on the Time Out New York Kids 10 Best Kids Albums of 2010.
Released December 12, 2009; Swoontoon
Putumayo usually comes up with great compilations, and A Family Christmas is no exception. A variety of bands and musicians contribute to the celebration, including Seattle kid musician Johnny Bregar with a finger-snappin' "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and their swingin' version of Louis Armstrong's hit "Is Zat You, Santa Claus!" and Brave Combo's ska-infused "Jolly Old St. Nick."
Other standout tracks include country music star Deana Carter's quietly spirited "Winter Wonderland," British folksinger Kate Rusby's Celtic-influenced "Here We Come A-Wassailing," and a can't-be-missed New Orleans-flavored "Frosty the Snowman" by Lars Edegran and his Santa Claus Revelers.
Released October 13, 2009; Putumayo World Music