Country Music People December 2018 - Page 48

albumreviews BOBBY WINSTEAD AND FRIENDS When You’re Here For Christmastime MARTINA McBRIDE It’s The Holiday Season   1/2 Holly Jolly Christmas / Under The Mistletoe / When You’re Here For Christmastime / He’s A Chubby Little Fellow / Candy Cane / Letter To Santa / All In One Night / The First Night In Old Bethlehem / It’s Christmastime / Dancing The Christmas Waltz Producer: Bobby Winstead Giant Killer Records 34:04 Last year Bobby Winstead and his band The Long Goodbyes released an album of mainly honky tonk songs which is well worth a listen. Now, for the coming festive season Bobby Winstead and Friends offer us an entertaining album of mainly original Christmas songs. The entire album is in the traditional country music area. Bobby Winstead’s new release has two cover versions. The first is the opening song Holly Jolly Christmas, which was written by Johnny Marks. The best known version is by Burl Ives. The new version is slightly faster and not surprisingly more country. (The next song, Under The Mistletoe sounds similar). The other cover version is Gene Autry’s He’s A Chubby Little Fellow which here kicks-off with a call and response section. The arrangement retains the feel of the original, settling into a neat country groove. Other highlights include the honky-tonk delight Letter To Santa, the old-style country-meets-60s-pop of Candy Cane, and the religious-country of The First Night In Old Bethlehem. The album concludes with Dancing The Christmas Waltz. This song lives up to its title. The track which sounds vaguely hymn-like features various men, women and a child sharing the vocals with Bobby Winstead. It’s a fine Christmassy ending. Bobby Winstead and his friends provide us with some quality Christmas entertainment. The songs are well written and aimed at fans of those old-style Christmas LPs of yesteryear. This is a Christmas release but anyone who likes, “real” country may well enjoy it. Hopefully in the future we can look forward to lots more Bobby Winstead albums. Paul Riley 48 cmp - DECEMBER 2018 Santa Claus Is Coming To Town / Most Wonderful Time Of Year / Winter Wonderland / It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas / Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer / Happy Holiday-It’s The Holiday Season / Home For The Holidays / Frosty The Snowman / My Favourite Things Producer: not listed Broken Bow Records 26:11 2018 has been a bit strange from a musical point-of-view. We’ve had a boring pop confection from Kacey Musgraves, a wonderful soul album from Mandy Barnett and now, a light swingin’ release from Martina McBride. What next? A reggae CD from Dale Watson? Martina McBride’s new seasonal album is not her first Christmas collection. That was 1998’s White Christmas. Amazingly that album has been re-released three times with some additional tracks added. The new 2018 album has all-new recordings from the singer. This time around things get a bit jazzy and the arrangements on this release would be right at home on a Michael Bublé seasonal special. It wouldn’t embarrass an old Frank Sinatra LP and could have come straight out of Capitol Tower in the late 50s. Martina McBride opens with the oft- recorded Santa Claus Is Coming To Town complete with slinky jazzy piano. The new version of Winter Wonderland sounds like it was recorded many decades ago. It arrives with back-up singers and more jazz piano and is a refreshing trip to the past with Martina McBride on form. Martina McBride offers her fans new versions of two popular Christmas novelty songs. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer sounds more serious than it usually does, a touch of humour might have given the song a bit of an edge. Frosty The Snowman has a similar arrangement but benefits from a sax solo. The classic song My Favourite Things dates back to 1959 and the musical The Sound Of Music. Martina McBride’s new version is warm, uplifting, and features more piano. What Martina McBride’s more mainstream country fans think of this jazzy big-band release might be interesting. Like most albums by the singer it’s entertaining. However, at about 26 minutes and with a meagre nine songs, it does feel a bit like being on a musical diet. Paul Riley New releases KELSEA BALLERINI Unapologetically – Black River NATHAN CARTER Celtic Country – BFD DAILEY & VINCENT The Sounds Of Christmas – BMG THE HILLBENDERS The Hillbenders - Compass CODY JOHNSON Ain’t Nothin’ To It – Warner OWEN LAKE & THE TRAGIC LOVES The Best Of Your Lies – Redeye THE LOUVIN BROTHERS Love and Wealth: The Lost Recordings – Modern Harmonic RONNIE MILSAP The Duets – Riser House / Sony MONTGOMERY GENTRY 20 Years Of Hits – Average Joe’s KIP MOORE Room To Spare: The Acoustic Sessions EP – MCA OLD 97’S Love The Holidays – ATO SMITH & WESLEY For Better Or For Worse – BFD MITCHELL TENPENNY Telling All My Secrets – Riser House / Columbia WHEELER WALKER JR WWIII – Pepper Hill