Perhaps there really is no such thing as too many Christmas albums. Though there are dozens of them on our shelves, Christmas Grass, Volume 2 has moved to the front of the row. Arriving just after Christmas, it took awhile to get motivated to listen to it. After all, plenty of holiday music had been played while it was still the holidays.
Once it went on the CD player, it's been virtual holidays at our house. The contemporary bluegrass arrangements to traditional holiday carols found here are both tasteful to bluegrass and to the holiday being honored. Here I am with the first blossoms of an upcoming spring approaching, and listening to it still.
A favorite piece is an instrumental arrangement of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen played in a newgrass arrangement. Bryan Sutton's astounding guitar work is matched by Stuart Duncan on fiddle and Adam Steffey on mandolin. Rhonda Vincent, along with brother Darrin, offer a wistful interpretation of Tennessee Christmas, a song written by Amy Grant and ex-husband Gary Chapman. Sonya Isaacs does a version of Mary Did You Know that is unforgettable (with the haunting Dobro of Randy Kohrs), and The Larkins offer sparkling harmonies on Christmas In Dixie.
Here's a list of the many great musicians found on this collection: Dolly Parton, Darrin Vincent, Jamie Dailey, Bryan Sutton, Adam Steffey, Stuart Duncan, Jim Mills, Randy Kohrs, Ronnie Bowman, Charlie Cushman, Rhonda Vincent, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Russell Moore, The Larkins, Bobby Osborne, Sharon White Skaggs, Charlie Daniels, Sonya Isaacs, Ben Isaacs.
This is the music of contemporary bluegrass at its best. Perfect for the holidays. Or darned near any time of year.
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