Our Christmas Present / Various[CD]
Our Christmas Present 'Our Christmas Present' brings you the best of local and regional talent, with a few national (and even international) performers. Half traditional Christmas songs, half original, the mix of genres runs smart singer-songwriter acoustic, to reggae, to blues and even old-time. The listener gets three musical experiences in one. Traditional Christmas The angelic voice of Jessie Trainum heralds the traditional music in store on this remarkable album. She makes the holiday bright with her ethereally beautiful rendition of 'What Child Is This'. On top of playing all the instruments herself, she sings the harmony. Trent Wagler and his Steel Wheels give their fervent fans a most moving 'O Come, O Come, Emmanuel'. Scott Murray, who 'sings like a bird' according to Townes Van Zandt, presents a warm version of 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' recorded years ago for his own Christmas album. 'Texas' best-kept secret' Danny Schmidt gets together with world-beating Carrie Elkin for their own special gift from Austin--the traditional classic 'The Little Drummer Boy'. The 'truly gifted' Heather Kropf has wrapped up a present for Christmas, an excitingly Latinized take on the traditional 'Coventry Carol'. Folk-blues singer-songwriter phenom Paul Curreri from over the mountain in Charlottesville, applies a bow . . his highly original, instrumental version of 'We Three Kings'-- as they say 'crazy intricate, crashing, dancing fingerpicking that simply makes sense in context with his themes.' Original Christmas The super-smart singer-songwriter set kicks off with Ketch Secor, founder of the barnstorming phenomenon Old Crow Medicine Show, who presents 'Send No Angels', the nativity story updated in an urban setting (and destined to be a Christmas classic). Chris Howdyshell, the spark plug behind local band Red River Rollercoaster, and long-time M.C. for the Little Grill open mic, presents 'I Heard Them Bells', a country-folk appeal for peace on Earth. With his ironic take on Christmas and family strife, Jonathan Reuel reminds us life ain't always what it says in a 'Christmas Card' from 'before the break-up'. With another original, former owner of the Little Grill Tom Kildea blesses the holiday with 'Christmas Inside', a very loving tune. Not to be outdone, local genius, and another Little Grill veteran, Terry Turtle tosses in his dauntingly funny original 'Reindeer on the Roof'. Variety Christmas For variety of genre, regional reggae phenom Greg Ward packs his sleigh with 'Christmas Time'. Delta blues stylist Alex Albrecht lends his sparkling talents to 'The Santi Jam'. The Trail Band out of Colorado gives a sneak release gift of 'Nacimiento (Nativity)' which tells the story of a migrant farmer planting Christmas trees in America. In a cross between Christmas tradition and genre busting, the New Johnsons, Erin and Hannah (but not sisters), revive a foot-stomping hootenanny ritual with 'Breaking Up Christmas'. Hearkening back to old-timey days when people in the mountains held two weeks of house parties filled with music and dance to close out the holidays. This lively recording has the spoons. It has the shouting. It even has flatfooting in the studio. It makes listeners feel like they're right in the room enjoying the hoedown. Merry Christmas from Our Community Place, a non-profit organization promoting personal growth and peaceful community in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
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