Is a pandemic the best time or the worst time to release an album of children’s music based on the Psalms? Musicians Flo Paris Oakes, Sandra McCracken, and Katy Bowser Hutson hope that All Creatures, the fourth album from their musical collective Rain for Roots, reaches the world at just the right time and offers hope in the midst of a storm. The album explores the emotional range of Israel’s original songbook and points listeners to God’s glory made manifest in creation.

The three Nashville musicians talked with Megan Fowler about their project, which just released.

The three previous Rain for Roots albums have focused on Bible stories, parables, and Advent. What was the inspiration for All Creatures?

McCracken: We started out talking about Psalms, and then all these images of creation were so present in the themes that were coming up. So we started paying attention to that. A secondary theme that emerged was songs, loosely based on Psalms, but then creation and the creatures that we saw calling us into worship. It’s not strictly a praise album, but a praise album by way of the Psalms, by way of the owls and birds.

Hutson: When you say it that way, Sandra, the two themes that kind of run through are, one, there’s so much of seeing how God reveals who he is in the natural world; and two, yes, there’s so much beautiful praise, but there’s also lament and fear. I like that the Psalms are such a great way to display, to young ones in particular, that all of the range of emotions are okay to bring before the face of God.

Oakes: And that God is with us, not just in this spiritual realm, but in our humanity. God is with us in every bit of the physical world.

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