I know, I know. 'Tis the season and how many times can you record the same old Christmas songs before the shine comes of the old apple, so to speak. My head swims with the huge amount of product compiled from the seemingly endless number of artists who lend their voices and instruments to Santa and Co. and here is 3 Fox Drive (Kim, Barb and Joel, every one of them a Fox, by golly) adding to the mountain.
Now, before your eyes roll back in your head, hear me out. If you have to have Christmas music, and evidently you must or you would not be reading this, this is about as good as it gets. Thing is, it's not "grass". It's as Nashville as it gets, and I mean the new Nashville and not the Nashville that was around when most of this music was written. From the opening strains of New Star Shining, a Johanna Dean Hall/John Hall composition (John was front man for '70s rockers Orleans), to the obvious modern country original Watching Over the Soldiers at Christmas, you get a mix of old and new Christmas songs done with the perfection you would expect these days. The standards stand out well, thanks to a handful of guest artists (vocalists Larry Sparks, Russell Moore, Sarah Jarosz, John Cowan and Sonya Isaacs as well as a spoken word bridge on one track by Charlie Daniels) and some really fine session work.
Without 3 Fox Drive to wrap it all around, though, this would be one among many. The lead voice on a couple of the tracks, either Kim or Barb I assume, is spot on and the trio's vocal harmonies ride the line between modern country and the style popular in the '40s and '50s, sliding from style to style without a ripple. Their arrangement on White Christmas, for example, sounds a bit like the Lennon Sisters on a Lawrence Welk Country Christmas Special. Now, I was never much of a Lennon Sisters fan, but somehow I get this.
Bottom line, this is quality stuff, top to bottom. Admittedly, there is nothing really new here, but if there were, somehow it wouldn't be Christmas music, would it? Because for most of us, Christmas is the Past, and here, 3 Fox Drive gives us a lot of memories.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2007, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Website design by David N. Pyles