2. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
3. Jingle Bell Rock
4. Good King Wenceslas
5. Angels We Have Heard on High
6. The First Noel
7. O Holy Night
8. I’ll Be Home for Christmas
9. Silent Night
PURCHASE CD FROM ARTIST
But it's not as though John stopped making music. He plays on many of the records that he mixes, engineers, and/or produces. It's also become something of a tradition for John to perform at Christmas time with his daughters, Rachel and Paige--twins who are now 17. Some of these performances are spontaneous sessions at neighborhood parties and sometimes they are planned, arranged, advertised performances at area theaters. John, Rachel and Paige have also made a habit, in recent years, of recording holiday songs for family and friends. Beats the heck out of a Hallmark card.
"O Christmas, Where Art Thou?" is the natural progression for the annual holiday singing of We Three Keanes. And what an album it is. The music is not just earnestly played and sung, though it is that; it is sung and played magnificently. The harmony vocals provided by John and his daughters are about as perfect as perfect gets. At times, We Three Keanes have a sound that's reminiscent of the Southern California country rock sound of bands like Poco and the Eagles. At times, their sound is more southern and traditional, like the Isaacs. And, when Dad takes the lead on "Good King Wenceslas", the sound is a little more Folk Pop, a la James Taylor or Dan Fogelberg.
The album opens with a rousing country rock medley of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and "We Three Kings". If the album ended there, it would still be an amazing effort. There is some fine picking on the guitar, here, some steel guitar, some banjo--all mixed impeccably--but it's already clear that the vocal talents of the three are the stars of the show. We Three Keanes seal the deal on the very next track, "O Come, O Come Emmanuel". These harmonies are just too beautiful to describe. They sparkle like the sun on new fallen snow.
The Keanes add a little kitsch with "Jingle Bell Rock". The sisters soar on "Angels We Have Heard On High". On "The First Noel", the family sounds a bit like a female led Rascal Flatts. Dad's steel guitar adds just the right color to a gorgeous "O Holy Night". "I'll Be Home For Christmas" is one part Amy Grant, one part Everly Sisters. And "Silent Night" wraps up the album in glorious style.
The arrangements are simple and straight forward, the instrumentation is understated and meticulous, and the harmonies are simply unbelievable. In a world that sometimes seems chaotic and out of control, the simplicity of this album is a welcome relief. At the end of a long hard day, "O Christmas, Where Art Thou?" is the perfect elixir to help you unwind. This is the perfect record for turning off the lights, turning on the Christmas tree, putting your feet up and watching the Christmas tree lights blink and glow. In no time at all, you will feel the stress of the world washing away. In the end, I believe "O Christmas Where Art Thou?" is the answer to it's own question. "O Christmas, Where Art Thou?" Christmas is right here.
Do me a favor and buy this album. Because this should not be a one-off. I need more albums like this one in my life. You can get the download version at the major on-line retailers, such as Amazon and iTunes, but I suggest you buy the physical CD while you can, which is only available right now from John Keane Studios.