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#ChristmasSongADay – Part 2

December 12, 2017 30 comments

Keeping to my plan, for once, here is the second part of my Advent Calendar of Christmas songs that I have been sharing with Twitter followers and Facebook friends. Should you feel an uncontrollable urge to join either of those select groupings, the necessary buttons can be found to the right – and that way, you could enjoy the songs as I publish them, rather than having to await the retrospectives. Just a thought!

This collection covers days 7 to 12 and is, as usual, a fairly mixed bunch. I’m hoping that many – if not all – will be new to you, and am keeping my fingers crossed that there is at least one that you like.

On the 7th, I posted a song by the American/Irish band, Dropkick Murphys. This is, to say the least, a piece of irreverent fun. They’re a bit of an acquired taste, and the singer’s voice probably wouldn’t count as ‘dulcet,’ but they do make some great songs and videos. This one is a hoot right the way through:

I slowed the pace a little for the next choice. Brynn Andre is one of those singers who has made some lovely music without ever getting the support and following that she deserves. Sadly, it is a number of years since she released an album. I looked at her website and it seems she is restricting her musical appearances nowadays to performing at weddings. Her voice and songs deserve a wider audience. She previously made just the two albums – this is her version of a very well known Christmas standard, which doesn’t actually appear on either of her records. I absolutely love her version and the accompanying video is very sweet:

You may recall that when I brought back my #SaturdaySongs series a couple of months ago the second new post was my tribute to the sad passing of Tom Petty. You can find it here if you missed it, or would like another look. So far, all of the Christmas songs I had featured had appeared at least once before in the two previous years that I’ve done this, but when I found this one it was an easy choice to make it my first new one for this year. Filmed at the White House as part of a tv special, back in the days when they had a proper President, it is a nice little piece of nostalgia:

For Sunday 10th I posted a suitably mellow song. This is another making its first appearance in my selection this year. Most people will probably only know of the band from the original line up and their two classic songs Free Bird and Sweet Home Alabama. This incarnation of the band broke up after Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines were killed in a plane crash in October 1977, but the band reformed ten years later and this is actually the title track from their eleventh studio album, released in 2000. It is quintessentially Lynyrd Skynyrd, both in terms of pace and vocals, and if I do this again next year, I think this one is a keeper:

Yesterday’s choice was also a new one, for the simple reason that it has only just been released. You may not be aware of the English folk singer Kate Rusby, but I hope this enchants you enough to explore her music further. She comes from Yorkshire, as you can probably tell from her accent, and grew up with the strong local tradition of carol singing. Her latest album is the fourth she has released of seasonal songs – quite appropriate that she does this, as she has the voice of an angel. She created the character of Big Brave Bill, a kind of Yorkshire superhero, for a song on her most recent non-seasonal album, released in 2016, and here he is with his very own Christmas song. The animated video is charming, right the way through to Kate herself at the end:

I got a ‘like’ on Twitter from the lady herself for posting that, so I guess I’m doing something right! Kate will be making another appearance before Christmas – I’ll be bestowing on her the honour accorded to a select few of having two songs in my choices. With any luck, she’ll be reet chuffed!

For today’s song I’ve chosen the most serious of my selection. I’ve loved Jackson Browne’s music since his career started 45 years ago, I have all of his albums and have been lucky enough to see him play live. To my knowledge, this only appears on The Next Voice You Hear as a new, bonus track on that compilation album. That someone can add something like this as a one-off is, to me, astounding. This is a powerful song, haunting and beautiful, with a message we would all do well to heed:

So, that’s the second batch of six all done and dusted. As I said at the beginning, I’m hoping that there will be at least one among them that you enjoy, even if all six aren’t to your taste. Enjoy your Christmas preparations, and I’ll see you again for Part 3.

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The Frost Is All Over

November 29, 2015 Leave a comment

I don’t know about you but after all the ‘excitement’ of Black Friday I’m exhausted. And I haven’t been anywhere! As it’s Sunday I feel in a relaxed mood and so I thought I’d share with you a beautiful new song which will ease you into your day.

The song is the title track from the new album by Kate Rusby. If you don’t know her, she’s an English folk singer and songwriter. She comes from Yorkshire and her accent is pronounced, giving a lovely natural feel to her singing, and she has a beautiful voice. This album is her third of seasonal songs, following on from Sweet Bells and While Mortals Sleep, both of which I highly recommend. She has also made a DVD, Kate Rusby – Live At Christmas, which is wonderful. Needless to say, all of these are in my collection! Her new album, The Frost Is All Over, arrived a couple of days ago and I listened to it for the first time last night. Alongside the usual mix of traditional carols is the final track, which is written by Kate herself. Even on first listen I could tell that this was something special, and I just had to share it!

Kate releases her music on her own independent label, Pure Records, so doesn’t have the funding for big budget videos. I think this has been put on YouTube by a fan – it doesn’t look official – and is nothing more than a shot of the album cover to accompany the music. No expense has been made in the creation of this video! But, you know what? Who cares! Just lay back, close your eyes and wallow in sheer musical beauty:

I have a feeling I’ll be playing that a lot this Christmas season, and I hope you like it too, and forgive my indulgence in starting Christmas a little early. Have a lovely Sunday, and I’ll see you tomorrow.

Sweet Bells

December 25, 2013 1 comment

Happy Christmas! When I posted my selection of Christmas songs  – in It’s Christmas!!! (Well, almost…) – I promised you a second selection, and here it is. As befits the day, this is a selection of mostly traditional carols, some of which are sung in a similarly traditional setting, others less so. There are fifteen here to dip into and I hope you find something that you enjoy amongst them, and hopefully there will be some new ones in there to delight you on this special day.

I’ll share a couple with you now, to give you a taster. The first is by the lovely folk singer Kate Rusby, who has released a couple of albums of seasonal songs. This is the title track from the first of these, and the video which has been made for it is enchanting:

The second is by a singer to whom I was recommended recently by a fabulous friend. Her taste in music is clearly very good! This is a Norwegian singer called Sissel, and the carol is sung, quite naturally, in Norwegian. You don’t need to understand the words to feel the beauty of the carol or her voice, though:

And for something a little different, try this flashmob mix. It is full of the joy of Christmas – just look at some of the reactions, especially the little boy when the baby is brought in!

I hope you enjoy these, and do please click on this link to the full list to find some more. I wish you a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas – or whatever it means to you in your culture. Have a wonderful day!

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