Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Joy of Christmas - The Living Guitars

The "Living" series continues with... The Living Guitars! Yes, this is an entire album featuring your favorite Christmas classics all accentuated for guitars. But this should really be called The Living Guitars and Organ and Bells, because that's what you'll find in the 1969 selection.

It's a breezy and brief album (just shy of twenty-three minutes), with the arrangements best suited for lighter fare like "Jingle Bell Rock/Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree", "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus/Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas", and "Deck The Halls", all of which are album highlights (though it's not easy to single a few out -- they're all gems!). Indeed all of the tracks are presented as medleys, so if you dig "Silver Bells", get ready to meet "The Real Meaning of Christmas".

The Joy of Christmas is certainly pleasant Christmas eve background music for some yuletide merriment where a delicate balance between cheer and mellow mood is required.

New Link! Nov/26/13 — Please enjoy: The Joy of Christmas - The Living Guitars

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Christmas with The William Booth Singers and Salvation Army Band

The actual title of this one is Christmas With The William Booth Singers and The International Staff Band of The Salvation Army. But that's too long to fit in a blog post title!

CWTWBSATISBOTSA, for short, is a neat little album. It's a mix of vocal tracks with band, and instrumental only tracks, warbled out with gusto by the brass-heavy Salvation Army band. It's the only Christmas music I've heard that alternately sounds like Christmas Eve in a Catholic Church and a bustling downtown Santa Claus parade.

After a couple of years of rummaging through piles of neglected old LPs at local Salvation Army stores, it's nice to rescue a title like this. The Salvation Army has done so much for Christmas music in general, and this album proves it!

I wasn't able to track down any release info for Christmas With..., but my Google educated guess dates sometime within the early 1960s. Allegedly, Alma Records released several titles on it's Christian Faith Records imprint within that period. If you've heard this one before or have any further info, please post a comment.