One year ago today we released A Slugs & Bugs Christmas. Much of the cost of the production was covered by amazing fans through the Rabbit Room, and I was very proud of how it all turned out. The always-brilliant Jeff Taylor and I produced it together, and fantastic musicianship abounds, but I still think the kids choir is what makes the record soar.
With the songs from the CD, I wrote a Christmas production that follows a family through the day on Christmas Eve. Three churches brought in the production last year, and they all blew me away. The Childrens’ Choirs sang their hearts out and brought the songs to life with hand motions, and the actors all memorized their lines and delivered them to packed sanctuaries of parents and grandparents.
After the season, however, I decided to add another song to the production. It needed a song that specifically addressed the Christmas story, but as an upbeat celebration, not a ballad. So, in trying to come up with a new way to sing about the story of Christmas, the idea came to me to add a child’s perspective to the mix. What if one of the shepherds had his son with him? What would he think about it all, and how would he remember it?
As I wrote the lyric, it felt like discovering a story. I recorded it with my friend Alan Stricklin this past summer, and decided to re-release A Slugs & Bugs Christmas with new tracks and new packaging. In addition to Shepherd Dad, I added a track of my daughter, Livi, reading from Luke 2. There’s B3 underneath it, and she did a very fine job delivering the text.
This year, three more churches are putting on the full-blown production (Knoxville, TN, Hendersonville, TN and Elkhorn, NE), and I can’t wait to sing these songs with all those kids in choirs big and small.
Here’s the song “Shepherd Dad” from the new and improved A Slugs & Bugs Christmas.