It's that time of year again! As many of you may know, I've recorded a few Christmas albums in the past. There's nothing new to the catalog this year, but in case you haven't downloaded these in the past and need to add something to your playlist this year, here are some options. They're all destined to be classics, so you might as well be among the first of your friends to own them, right? Like the rest of the music I sell, all of these albums were independently produced and distributed. When you pay for this music, most of the money goes directly to the musicians involved. The little bump in Christmas album sales helps us travel home for the holidays and spend time with our families. It's sort of our way of earning a paid vacation.
Jazz fans will probably enjoy the jazz and bossa nova style of Montgomery Bruce. Closer to Christmas built upon the style of the Bruce's debut, Bossa Noel, and created a wider variety of arrangements. Highlights include "The Christmas Song," "O Tannenbaum," and "Good King Wenceslas."
The first Christmas album I recorded, Bossa Noel found a good deal of success on iTunes when it was first released. It quickly made its way up the jazz charts before being the only independently released album in 2007s jazz Christmas feature. That same year the opening track, "O Little Town of Bethlehem" was added to iTunes' Essentials Instrumental Christmas playlist.
If you're a fan of Americana or folk music, give this one a try. It's entirely instrumental, with a chorus of guitars, mandolin, banjo, harmonica, and more playing familiar melodies over rich reharmonized accompaniment. My personal favorite is "Hark, The Herald Angles Sing," and I think you'll also like "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and a very nostalgic take on "Auld Lang Syne."
Be Still was a side project for myself and Lauren Zettler, aka Lightyear. The first track we recorded, and possibly my favorite, was "Silent Night." That set the tone for the rest of the arrangements, all a little melancholy and nostalgic. Along with the classics we recorded one of Lauren's originals, the title track "Sounds Like Snow," and Ray Charles' "That Spirit of Christmas" which we all know from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy your holiday!