Rudnick & Friends Welcome Santa
The one word that strikes fear into the hearts of most "kindie" families is "traditional." As in, traditional arrangement. Most kindie musicians try to put their own spin on themes, even if it comes across as yet another derivative of "The Wheels On the Bus."
Ben Rudnick & Friends tackle that challenge with their new 2010 holiday EP, "It's Santa Claus!" Of the eight songs, only the title track is a new composition. The remaining tunes range from traditional (Jingle Bells, Frosty the Snowman) to the truly ancient (Auld Lang Syne, Greensleeves).
It's admirable for a recognized kindie figure like Ben Rudnick to roll the ball up the hill and put his spin on these songs. Then again, it's also a wise commercial marketing move - as any retailer will tell you, holiday music is a "perennial." People are still purchasing the Wilson Phillips Christmas CD!
After all that prologue, does the disc deliver holiday cheer? Well, it's not even Thanskgiving. But don't think me a Scrooge. I've spent the better part of my life avoiding the majority of holiday music. As a Jew, I've found that only a fraction of holiday music is aimed at my peeps. And most of that is done so in a tongue in cheek fashion.
With all that being said, I am a fan of Ben Rudnick. My son (also named Ben) enjoys the Ben Rudnick CDs we already have. And he learned "Frosty" a few years back for a school concert and has launched into the chorus at unexpected times year-round in the time since. He's even heard the Allan Sherman version of "Greensleeves," called "Sir Greenbaum's Madrigal."
So I wish Ben Rudnick & Friends well with their new release. And I also wish them happy holidays! Perhaps someone will give them a CD of festive music to celebrate the season... something like... well, you get the idea.