I will sing of your love and justice;
to you, Lord, I will sing praise.” Psalm 101:1 NIV
We had the privilege of attending a Rain for Roots record release party for The Kingdom of Heaven Is Like This not quite two years ago. Rain for Roots has great children’s worship music. We had gotten a few of their songs off Noisetrade a couple years before, so we figured we would give it a shot. (If you don’t know about Noisetrade, artists give away some of their music for a short time as a promotion. Definitely check it out!)
We arrived at a beautiful church and weren’t quite sure what to expect. Having never heard these particular songs before, we were impressed as they were catchy right away. Although it’s billed as children’s music, it is definitely something adults can enjoy too. It is not sing-songy like a lot of children’s music. My children and I like music we can rock out to most of the time, but something a little more mellow is welcome too. This is definitely on the more mellow side. Think folk or Americana music with a Christian twist. You must listen before you judge for yourself.
I love hearing the stories behind the songs at concerts. They ladies (Sandra McCracken, Flo Paris, and Katy Bowser) did a fantastic job of explaining the songs in a way that the kids could listen and better understand what the song was all about. They even had their own children singing on the stage with them. My favorite part was that the children in the audience had their own personal dance floor up front. I had never been to a concert before that was so laid back. You didn’t have to cringe every time your child made a noise. There was no shushing, yet you could still hear. Everyone seemed to be having a great time–us included.
Since we added our names to the mailing list at the last concert, we were in-the-know this time. My husband, who is a big music critic of his own accord, was the first to find out that another record was coming up and we needed to go to the release party. That night, he sat down and signed us up. We got a digital download of the music, a Waiting Songs CD in the mail, and admission to the concert for the whole family for just $15! As my husband pointed out, at those prices, it’s probably barely enough to cover costs and pay the band. Yet they still do it anyway. Their hearts must be in the right place!
Waiting Songs was created for the waiting period before Christmas Day. There are lots of songs about Christmas day itself, but there are few songs that address the anticipation of Jesus’ arrival. I loved how they described going through the Bible like a treasure hunt, looking for signs of Jesus as people waited for Him. They broke it down for the kids in a tangible way, comparing the season of advent to the time when you might wait for your grandma, who lives far away, to arrive for a visit. There is so much excitement at the thought of their arrival!
Before the Waiting Songs celebration started, some of their music videos were playing on the screens. We love to watch videos on Youtube for family worship time, and these are great ones to check out. (My personal favorite is “Apples Don’t Grow on Pear Trees.”) They beautifully and artistically done, as much fun to watch as they are to listen to. If you like to play an instrument during family worship, they even have the chords and lyrics on their website. I LOVE it when musicians do that!
Once the concert got rolling, all the things we loved about the previous concert were still there–laid back atmosphere, great music, children singing on stage, storytelling, and kids dancing. Children joined them on stage to recite scripture. They also made sure that everyone knew they were welcome to sing along to a mixture of their old and new songs. The words were on the screen for several of them.
Worship music that is fun for the whole family can be hard to find. I definitely recommend checking out Rain for Roots!