2. O Come, O Come Emmanuel
3. Bring The Torch, Jeanette Isabella
4. Joy To The World
5. Silent Night
6. God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen
7. Lo How Arroz Con Pollo
8. Jingle Bells
9. The 12 Days Of Christmas
10. Angels We Have Heard On High
11. Fum, Fum, Fum
12. O Christmas Tree
13. Coventry Carol
14. Campanas de Belen
And now for something completely different.... Proving once again that everything old is new again, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Moat Jumper.
Moat Jumper is essentially a "super group" of the finest Renaissance Fair musicians in all the land. Joe Matzzie is an accomplished guitar and hammered dulcimer player who has previously recorded albums as part of the group Mince Pye. While playing at the New York Renaissance Faire, Joe met Stefan Dollack who was an adept player of such unusual period instruments as the hurdy gurdy and the bladder pipe. Rounding out the troupe are world class percussionist Reid DeFever, Paul Nowell on sackbut, and violinist Mindy O'Brien, herself a veteran of the Texas Renaissance Fair.
The musicianship is top-notch throughout Moat Jumper's debut recording and the music itself is about what you'd expect from accomplished Renaissance Fair artists. If you've got a bit of the taste for Celtic or Medieval Classical music, or if you were charmed by the Christmas record from Blackmore's Night, this might be something you'll want to give a listen to. Heck, it'd make a nice companion piece to Putumayo's "Celtic Christmas", if that one's on your wish list this year.
For those of us who just like to sample a bit of everything Christmasy, I found "Coventry Carol" decidedly tender, "Lo How Arroz Con Pollo" intriguingly daring, and "12 Days of Christmas" surprisingly spritely. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" is borderline psychedelic and, on first listen, probably the track I'd most recommend to Christmas music junkies like myself (your mileage may vary). And "Jingle Bells" didn't work for me at all. At times, I wondered how a Renaissance rendition of, say, Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime" might have played in the mix, but its likely best not to fool with Mother Nature (if you know what I'm saying).
"Christmas At The Renaissance Fair" has a scheduled release date of October 18 and should be available in both hard copy and digital download formats through Amazon, CD Baby, and other Internet music sellers.