In the meantime, there's another record dropping November 13 that I'm even more interested in. Unfortunately, this is the only picture I have of the cover so far.
1. Christmas The Mountain Way - Dale Ann Bradley & Steve Gulley
2. Joy To The World - Audie Blaylock
3. Silent Night - Marty Raybon
4. In The Sweet By And By - Dale Ann Bradley
5. Away In A Manger - Steve Gulley
6. Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus - Mike & Brenda Scott
7. O Holy Night - Brad Gulley
8. A Voice Of Our Savior - Audie Blaylock
9. There's A Way In The Manger - Marty Raybon
10. Nothing But The Blood - Common Strings
11. Christmas In The Mountains - Cumberland River
12. In The Garden - Don Gulley
13. Go Tell It On The Mountain - Cumberland River Academy
14. Amazing Grace - Debbie Gulley
15. Jingle Bells - Mike Scott
Now I suspect Bluegrass and Old Timey music isn't on the top of most y'all's Christmas music shopping lists. But the thing of it is there just isn't a whole lot of good Christmas Bluegrass and Old Timey available. So when Rural Rhythm Records set about to create this program, they had me at "hello". Rural Rhythm is pretty much the keeper of the flame these days. Sugar Hill, Rounder and a few others do release some to be sure, but this is the only thing Rural Rhythm does, and have done for over 50 years.
The concert event was filmed in June and will air in November and December on BlueHighways TV (which I, for one, have never heard of). And your purchase will not only net you the CD but the DVD as well (so never mind BlueHighways TV, dude, you're gettin' the special). In fact, the DVD is actually longer than the special and contains interviews and all those "behind-the-scenes" features that nobody ever watches. Basically, for fans of Bluegrass and Old Timey, this set is near nirvana. I mean, you know, Bill Monroe didn't appear from the great beyond or anything, so near nirvana is about as good as it gets. I do wish they'd included the Roys, but you can't have everything. Two new tracks written especially for the event--"Christmas In The Mountains" and the title track. I'm there, brother.
Right now, this is showing as a digital only collection. But it's worth remembering that the first collection in this series, "Tis The Season To Be Gotee", also started life download-only and eventually was released on CD.
1. O Come O Come Emmanuel - Jamie Grace
2. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Capital Kings
3. Do You Hear What I Hear? - Abandon Kansas
4. O Holy Night - Stephanie Smith
5. The Rebel Jesus - House Of Heroes
6. What Child Is This - Jamie Grace & Abandon Kansas
7. Silent Night - Finding Favour
8. I'll Be Home For Christmas - Harper Still
9. Baby, It's Cold Outside - Johnnyswim
10. Carol Of The Bells - Capital Kings
The Hoff Ensemble takes its name from pianist and arranger Jan Gunnar Hoff, who has played with some of the best Triple-Z Jazz artists around--like Pat Metheny and Mike Stern. The Ensemble was formed in 1993 and is based around a quartet, then adding elements as needed. For "Quiet Winter Night", recorded at the Sofienberg Church, the Ensemble was joined by percussionist Rune Arnesen and guitarist Børge Petersen-Øverleir. The music was composed by Norway's leading film composers and several vocalists were also included. At times, the music features a Jazz and Folk fusion, while at least one track, "Hva skal hende nå", feels much more like Pat Metheny's rock influenced "American Garage" period. In any case, it's very effective because, even without knowing what the titles mean, the music just sounds like winter--cold and bleak, contemplative, yet somehow fresh and invigorating at the same time.
But the most interesting thing about "Quiet Winter Night" may be how it's being sold. There is no CD, only vinyl and "Pure audio BluRay" (whatever that is). Amazon has the vinyl but, so far, nothing else. The label has all the available configurations (including FLAC and MP3) through their Facebook site. And, yes, the MP3 is affordable at just $10, but you'd really want the better fidelity on a recording like this, doncha think? Gonna have to save up for the vinyl, I reckon, cause this is the kind of music I could lose myself in for days at a time.
1. Dronning Fjellrose
2. Stille, stille kommer vi
3. Dele alle ord og tanker
4. Redd Mamma
5. Sulla, sulla krekling
7. Ville fjellgutt
8. Hva skal hende nå?
9. Ved bålet
10. Tufsa danser
11. Vesle, rare bygdeunge
12. En blånissekveld
13. Kveldslokk for små unger
14. Lys i desember
15. Ved bålet - instrumental bonus version
This is basically Indie Pop and Indie Rock, with some electronica, punk, boogie woogie, shoegaze, synth rock--you know, the full gamut of sound. I don't know when Flannelgraph hit upon the "all instrumental" idea, but they actually do it very well and it makes the annual collection very listenable in the off months. Last year, there was even a CD version available. And all proceeds--100%--are donated to charity. Stop by and get Volume 1 and Volume 2, if you haven't got them already.
Oh, also, the label has a political/Halloween single from the Indiana Midnights called "Mitt Romney's Haunted Yacht". I wasn't crazy about it, title aside, but it is free (well, "name your own price").
So, anyway, if you think you've got something they might like (as in well produced, radio quality, and ready to go), you'll find the info you need right here.
And don't forget the folks at xEasycorex are looking for some top notch Pop Punk Christmas tunes for their free compilation as well.