Country Music People December 2017 - Page 50

Christmasalbumreviews BALSAM RANGE A ROOTIN’ TOOTIN’ SANTA Christmas Lullaby / The First Noel / Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree / I’m Going Home, It’s Christmas Time / Hark! The Herald Angels Sing / Jingle Bells Producer: Balsam Range Mountain Home Music Company 17:47 Bill Monroe: Christmas Time’s A-Comin’ / Sonny James: Christmas In My Hometown / Tennessee Ernie Ford: Christmas Dinner / George Jones: Maybe Next Christmas / Roy Rogers: Silent Night, Holy Night / Ernest Tubb: White Christmas / Wesley Tuttle: Christmas Carol By The Old Corral / Bill Haley: A Year Ago This Christmas / George Jones: New Baby For Christmas / Jimmy Heap: My Angel Isn’t On My Christmas Tree / Ernest Tubb: Blue Christmas / Davis Sisters: Christmas Boogie / Billy Briggs with String Band: North Pole Boogie / Terry Fell: Let’s Stay Together Till After Christmas / Bob Wills: When It’s Christmas On The Range / Ernest Tubb: I’ll Be Walking The Floor This Christmas / George Jones: My Mom And Santa Claus / Gene Autry: Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer / Red Foley & Judy Martin: Our Christmas Waltz / Eddie Cletro with The Frontiersmen: Give Me An Old Fashioned Christmas / Bill Haley: I Don’t Want To Be Alone This Christmas / Faron Young: I’m Gonna Tell Santa Claus On You / Ridge Runners: Santa Claus Boogie / Ernest Tubb: Lonely Christmas Eve / George Jones: Lonely Christmas Call / Red Foley: Here Comes Santa Claus / Sonny James: I Forgot To Remember Santa Claus / Faron Young: You’re The Angel On My Christmas Tree / Tennessee Ernie Ford: A Rootin’ Tootin’ Santa Claus / Sandy Center: Come On Baby, It’s Christmas Producer: Various Richard Weize Archives 75:07 It’s Christmas Time  1/2 Balsam Range are a bluegrass band who have been releasing albums for about ten years. The new EP is a Christmas affair and the band are joined by The Nashville Recording Orchestra. We get six updated versions of festive favourites. First up is the old Doc Watson song Christmas Lullaby. The new banjo and orchestra arrangement works well, but this critic found the vocals a little bland. The orchestra give the song a grand, widescreen sweep. The one track on the album which doesn’t work too well is The First Noel; the new arrangement seems slightly off. When we think of Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree we think of Brenda Lee’s killer version which has now sold more than 25 million copies. The song has been recorded by many singers including Mel And Kim! The Balsam Range version has a lot of life in it and the fiddle a real highlight. The disc also includes a spirited, moving version of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing and a new version of Ralph E. Stanley’s I’m Going Home, It’s Christmas Time, which features a strong lead vocal. The final track is a wonderful instrumental version of the oft recorded Jingle Bells. It’s a foot tapping, joyful, shimmering jewel of a tune. The Balsam Range Christmas album is very entertaining and it will leave you wanting more. However, we only get six songs so it’s kind of like a Christmas diet! The inclusion of the orchestra was a smart idea because they add a touch of class. Hopefully in the future we will get a longer volume two of It’s Christmas Time. Paul Riley 50 cmp - DECEMBER 2017 A Hillbilly Christmas  The traditional country and western songs on this latest re-issue should have been country music gold but sadly they have been “altered”. Presumably this is to make them more “commercial” and screw more money out of country fans. The 30 tracks on this compilation range from 1940-1962. The earliest song, Roy Rogers 1940 version of Silent Night, Holy Night, sounds like it was recorded at the same time as most of the other songs we are offered. Country music recorded in the 1940 LNMLYH][ ][&]]HH[Y[وHۙۈ\ ۙH[][]HY[ۙH\[YH][[˂]\]XH8'x'H[X\H\\]\H]Hۙ]Y\[[Y\˂H[&H[&H[HX[ۈ\H LYH]]] H[[YHX[]'[]X[]x'K]XZوH8'[Yܚ]HوHܚY[[Xܙ['K[Hۙۈ\[X\H]HX\HۙHYYH[وK[X\\ۈH\[YH[HX^HZHH][\[و[H\X\œۙˈH\ٙ\ۙH[\ܝ[[\ZH[ܙHۙ\\ۈ[[Y^K\\X[\ˈ][ٙ\YH[ܙH؜\HX\[ZKX[B[\[H[\[\^H]KH[H[\HH NM ˈHXZB[ܙHۙ\\H[ۈܛK\ۙ\\\ۙHH L[HH ˂ۙ[H\X\[H NM\H\X\[K[ܝ[\HXBۛH[Y\[ۙHHH]\\\ˈ\\HH[8'\Y\'H\H\ۙH\؛[NH\HZ\][X[H[\ۈH“]\X\X]\ۘ[\KYH[H[[[H\H\X\ۙ]YH[KZH\ܚ]X[ZHH^H\Hۙ]HY[8'[\Y8'K][[^