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Sandbox Band gives holiday classics its own twist

Get in the holiday spirit with some Christmas music from the Sandbox Band! The Triangle-based band that caters to families has a new holiday CD featuring classic Christmas tunes and a couple of originals.

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Sarah Lindenfeld Hall
The Sandbox Band has been playing Christmas tunes ever since they started playing gigs around the holidays. Christmas favorites were always a common request.

So the band, who are regulars at many of the major festivals and family events in the area, decided to make it official. For the past couple of years, they've worked on a holiday album. The result is "Snow Day," a collection of eight classics such as "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "Jingle Bells," and "Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel" along with two originals. It's a fun, easy-to-sing-along-with album that I'm sure will be on regular rotation at my house for the next six weeks.

There's a great rock and roll version of "Little Drummer Boy." You'll hear the strains of Johnny Cash in their version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." And "Jingle Bells" is the twangy tune you'd expect from the band, which has been catering to kids and families across the Triangle for the past four years. Some of the songs start off with the quirky dialogue that helps to make them favorites on the family scene around here. (Click here for my earlier post on the band).

The originals include "He'll be Coming Down the Chimney" set to the tune of "She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain."

"We're all about blatant rip offs," jokes Jeff Morats of Sandbox.

And there's the more somber "Two More Days 'Til Christmas," which the group originally wrote for "Have a Holly Raleigh Kidsmas," last year's compilation album that benefits the Community Music School, which provides music lessons to needy kids in Wake County.
They band will officially launch the album at the big tree lighting event at North Hills in Raleigh Saturday. The event is from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. And Sandbox is scheduled to play between 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. CDs will be available for sale (as they also are on the group's website).

The guys spoke with me about a week ago and played a couple of the songs from the album - "Jingle Bells" and "O Christmas Tree."

In the videos above, see the group perform "Jingle Bells" and "O Christmas Tree," followed by my interview with them to learn more about "Snow Day."

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