Over The Rhine gave us a release date for "Blood Oranges In The Snow" (November 4), which they say will be a bit darker than their previous Christmas albums. But no cover art or track list.
And, hey, the Earth, Wind & Fire holiday set, that I pegged for next year, is coming THIS year (October 7). And its got a nice price point and I'm really stoked about it. But no details, yet.
The new Smalltown Poets Christmas album is tentatively scheduled for a late November release. And they're funding through Pledge Music and, if you liked their first holiday album (as I did), I certainly encourage you to hop on over and pre-order the new one. For a few dollars more, you can get both Christmas CDs. Autographed! So that's pretty cool.
All of these things are reflected in The List (though I do need to update a few of the links), but I didn't feel like building a post around them. In August. With no cover art or track lists. No, I wanted to find something new and exciting that hasn't been reported by every entertainment site on the web. Well, when I go digging, I don't stop until I find something. And I found something.
I'll leave it to you to sample "Notes From A Journey" at your leisure. For me, its kind of exciting to come across a new artist in the New Age/Ambient genre (mostly) who shines so brightly. I'll grant you, when New Age was hot, they did it to death. At its peak, there was so much music marketed as New Age, it was hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. I'm basically a Pop/Rock guy who came to love Jazz and Blues, but I appreciate good music from almost any genre (except Opera--sorry, I hate the stuff). And there were some real gems that came out of the New Age movement. I think its fair to call George Winston's "December" a standard of the Christmas season, now. And some of my favorite non-holiday listening albums are by William Ackerman, Peter Buffett...and David Lanz. Wasn't it only a couple of posts ago I was saying I was a David Lanz guy? Why, yes, yes it was.
Where were we. Oh, yes. In the course of recording her first album, Kristin Amarie hooked up with David Lanz. And the two had an instant musical chemistry. David's piano and Kristin's voice coming together is like how Blair Brown described eagles mating to John Belushi in "Continental Divide" (oh, c'mon; it's a great movie that you need to watch again...now. No, wait, finish reading the post, here, first.). I mean, yeah, it'd be nice if I could come up with a less....mating analogy, but its exactly what I hear.
So, to make a short story a little less long than I've made it, here...Kristin and David have been touring extensively and...recording a Christmas album (But you already figured that part out, right? The cover art probably gave it away, huh?). "Forever Christmas" is set for release this October (with pre-sale coming soon). Earlier this year, David and Kristin released the single "All Is Calm". I don't know that its on the album, but its awesome and you ought to check it out. It's right below, here. Right now (yes, before you go watch "Continental Divide"). Don't forget to visit Kristin on Facebook or at her web site.
Happy Labor Day, everybody.