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VARIOUS ARTISTS An Americana Christmas

american-xmas

New West Records

Each December the market is flooded with Christmas CDs that look to give new flavour to the age-old carols. There are often the music industry’s heavy hitters, or TV stars having their turn to warble out some festive cheer, so there should be no reason why the cool kids of country music shouldn’t jump in with their own version.

An Americana Christmas isn’t your average fare, though. The listener is lulled into a false sense of security with Luther Dickinson jumping out from behind a choir to give an electric guitar driven, twangy instrumental take on Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, but after this point there is rarely a traditional Christmas song to be heard.

The Gifts They Gave finds Johnny Cash giving a sombre take on the tale of the birth of Christ, while Corb Lund will have you staring longingly at the mistletoe with Just Me And These Ponies (For Christmas This Year). Bob Dylan offers up Must Be Santa, a tune sounds like it was devised in a beer hall during Oktoberfest and has drunkenly made it way into the festive table.

As well as a time for celebration, Christmas can be a difficult time for many, and who could do heartbreak and loneliness better than a country singer. An Americana Christmas may even have a tune or two that a grinch may not turn their nose up at.

3.5 stars

CHRIS HAVERCROFT

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