Boston’s Matt Heaton is a throwback to the 1970s style of children’s music—a singer-songwriter backed (on his recordings) by a bevy of total professionals. His new winter/holiday CD Snow Day! features a lot of rockabilly guitar but also a touch of flutes.
I’ve lost count of the number of songs titled “Snow Day,” but Matt attempts to put his own stamp on the burgeoning sub-genre. Other than the title track, the rest of the CD covers the festive gamut of staying up for Santa (“The Sneak”) to a twangy “Can’t Judge a Gift” that’s only missing a cut-in ad break from a local sponsor.
Nostalgia continues to evolve, however, as witnessed in “Christmas Movies,” where Matt reminisces how in our pre-TiVo and Netflix days, you had to peruse the TV schedule to determine when and where your favorite specials were airing in REAL TIME. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” gets a bossa nova tune-up and “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” goes surfing with a Dick Dale picking style. And Matt’s “Hanukkah O Hannukah” has never made the token ethnic tune sound so welcoming. “Winter Wonderland” needs no introduction, and in Matt’s version, it’s merely a laid-back instrumental.
You either have an affinity for holiday music or you don’t. Matt uses Snow Day! as an opportunity to deliver some seasonal chestnuts with flavor and passion.
Here’s the terribly unseasonal video for “Don’t Drink the Water”: