Holiday Music Recommendations

Stephanie Stuckwisch
@stephanie-stuckwisch
5 years ago
61 posts

I hear you, John Henry. There's a local couple who perform "I Saw Three Ships" as call and response, effectively turning it into a sea chanty.

John Henry said:

Me, I just enjoy the good old fashioned Carols that I grew up with sung with feeling, but not necessarily "the same as". Hence one of my 'first to reach for' CD's is 'A Tapestry of Carols', (Maddy Prior with the Carnival Band, Saydisc) Should always be remembered tho' that what many people regard as 'trad English' carols are in fact neither English or traditional, but have in many cases been highjacked from elsewhere.

JohnH

Rick Kennedy
@rick-kennedy
5 years ago
18 posts

I'll give it a try--and dream of the sand and surf...

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
5 years ago
921 posts

Thanks everyone for your recommendations. I am glad this discussion finally got some momentum.

Rick, you can't be a scrooge and listen to the Hawaiian slack key guitar Christmas album I mention above. It is so soothing and pretty, not syrupy and sentimental at all.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

Ain't no money in poetry; that's what sets the poet free.
I've had all the freedom I can stand.
-- Guy Clark
Rick Kennedy
@rick-kennedy
5 years ago
18 posts

Interesting topic. I've become rather a Christmas scrooge over the last few years, but I do enjoy Haley Westenra's Winter Magic. As an operatic "pop" singer (as opposed to an opera singer, I suppose) from NZ (although I think she lives in London), her voice, while pure of note, is a bit big for traditional tunes (although not as big as mezzo soprano Katherine Jenkins--though Westenra is, quite simply, gifted while Jenkins, though also gifted, has to work a bit harder and is more of a traditional opera-style singer). Plus, Westenra is quite pleasing to contemplate while listening to her music. Then, again, Katherine Jenkins makes me wish that I were in Wales. Anyhoo, Westenra is the only thing that can tame my inner Christmas scrooge.

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
5 years ago
291 posts

I'll second Dusty's choice of Slack Key Christmas. Also from Hawai`i, but with all vocal songs, is Hilo For The Hollidays, by Kuana Torres Kahele. http://www.mele.com/music/artist/kuana+torres+kahele/hilo+for+the+holidays+%2810-23-2012%29/ Most of these are sung in English, I think only 3 songs are in Hawaiian. Both of these are available from www.mele.com

Another I like a lot is Light Of The Stable, by Emmylou Harris. The link goes to a remastered CD, we have the original version on cassette. The remastered CD has a few extra tracks. http://www.amazon.com/Light-Stable-Emmylou-Harris/dp/B000641Z3Q

Paul

folkfan
@folkfan
5 years ago
458 posts

http://jewishroots.net/sound-files/sheet-music/maoz-tzur-sheet-music.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_8ps9iJG9g

Here's "Maoz Tzur" which is a very simple song and can be played slowly. Maybe your daughter would like to try it.

Happy Chanukah

John Henry
@john-henry
5 years ago
341 posts

Me, I just enjoy the good old fashioned Carols that I grew up with sung with feeling, but not necessarily "the same as". Hence one of my 'first to reach for' CD's is 'A Tapestry of Carols', (Maddy Prior with the Carnival Band, Saydisc) Should always be remembered tho' that what many people regard as 'trad English' carols are in fact neither English or traditional, but have in many cases been highjacked from elsewhere.

JohnH

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
5 years ago
921 posts

Ha! You know I'll come to you first if I do want 30 verses to anything.

My daughter has learned the Dreidel Song on the piano and insists on playing it after lighting the candles each night. I wish I knew better Chanukah music to teach her.


folkfan said:

Dusty, Do you really want 30 verses to "The Carnal and the Crane" ????? heheheheee

Mostly, I stick to Jewish Holiday music and much of that is in Hebrew. For Chanukah my husband and I sing "Maoz Tzur" after lighting the candles, though I caught him mumbling "The Dreydl Song" last night.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

Ain't no money in poetry; that's what sets the poet free.
I've had all the freedom I can stand.
-- Guy Clark
folkfan
@folkfan
5 years ago
458 posts

Dusty, Do you really want 30 verses to "The Carnal and the Crane" ????? heheheheee

Mostly, I stick to Jewish Holiday music and much of that is in Hebrew. For Chanukah my husband and I sing "Maoz Tzur" after lighting the candles, though I caught him mumbling "The Dreydl Song" last night.

Dusty Turtle said:

Thanks, Stephanie, for the recommendations. The only one on the list that I already have is the Odetta album. I can't believe John McCutcheon has a Christmas album and I didn't even know it!

And thank you too, Folkfan. I am so glad to see you posting again. I also kind of expected you to mention a song or two and then immediately rattle off the twenty variations of the lyrics that can be found as the song migrated from the British isles or wherever to our shores. Smile.gif I will definitely check out Custer LaRue's singing.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
5 years ago
921 posts

Thanks, Stephanie, for the recommendations. The only one on the list that I already have is the Odetta album. I can't believe John McCutcheon has a Christmas album and I didn't even know it!

And thank you too, Folkfan. I am so glad to see you posting again. I also kind of expected you to mention a song or two and then immediately rattle off the twenty variations of the lyrics that can be found as the song migrated from the British isles or wherever to our shores. Smile.gif I will definitely check out Custer LaRue's singing.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

Ain't no money in poetry; that's what sets the poet free.
I've had all the freedom I can stand.
-- Guy Clark
folkfan
@folkfan
5 years ago
458 posts

Dusty, Just came across 3 songs on a CD that I got for a Chanukah present (for myself). Custer LaRue and the Baltimore Consort called the album "The Daemon Lover" It starts with the "House Carpenter" But the last 3 cuts are "Jesus Born In Beth'ny", "The Carnal and the Crane", and "Lulle Lullay" You might want to listen to Custer sing them. Her soprano voice is so clear and sweet. Turns out that "The Carnal and the Crane" is a Child Ballad #55 and has a very interesting tune to it. Lulle Lullay is a version of the Coventry Carol, I believe.

Lois Sprengnether Keel
@lois-sprengnether-keel
5 years ago
72 posts

OOOOOOO!

Sounds extremely interesting Dusty. I'll have to look them up. May even have heard them and didn't know it. I catch classical radio as much as possible.

I also see three others that look interesting here: Loreena McKennitt, John McCutcheon, & Odetta.

Thanks & I bet you'll enjoy any of the What If Mozart Wrote CDs. I know I love the 1 I have so far.

LoiS


Dusty Turtle said:

Thanks for posting, Lois. Part of the reason I started this discussion was to get ideas for a CD to buy myself, since as I mentioned, Iallow myself one holiday CD each year. That CD does indeed look interesting, although as you mention,they seem to have not only put out several Christmas CDs, but also movedto other forms of music. Do you know the Turtle Island String Quartet? They are virtuoso classical musicians who play classical arrangments of pop tunes, including Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, and so forth. They might be right up your alley.

folkfan
@folkfan
5 years ago
458 posts

Dusty, I love the CD "Songs of Our Fathers". Thanks for mentioning it. Though I don't really have a CD to recommend, I do have a question. Does anyone know why the "Furry Day Carol" ends up on so many Christmas recordings? Maddie MacNiel does it on her "A Place Apart" CD which isn't a Christmas CD. Went looking for other versions of the song on iTunes and it showed up on 8 Christmas albums??????????

Stephanie Stuckwisch
@stephanie-stuckwisch
5 years ago
61 posts

On my list:

Joel Mabus -How Like the Holly

Ann Hills - On This Day Earth Shall Ring

Loreena McKennitt - A Winter Garden

John McCutcheon - Winter Solstice

Odetta - Christmas Spirituals

William Pint and Felicia Dale - When I See Winter Return

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
5 years ago
921 posts

Thanks for posting, Lois. Part of the reason I started this discussion was to get ideas for a CD to buy myself, since as I mentioned, Iallow myself one holiday CD each year. That CD does indeed look interesting, although as you mention,they seem to have not only put out several Christmas CDs, but also movedto other forms of music. Do you know the Turtle Island String Quartet? They are virtuoso classical musicians who play classical arrangments of pop tunes, including Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, and so forth. They might be right up your alley.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

Ain't no money in poetry; that's what sets the poet free.
I've had all the freedom I can stand.
-- Guy Clark
Lois Sprengnether Keel
@lois-sprengnether-keel
5 years ago
72 posts

O.k. this looks like it's not limited to dulcimer music, so I can confess to being a classical music lover. Years ago I picked up THE CD for me: What If Mozart Wrote Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. It's played by the Hampton String Quartet and lots of modern Christmas songs are done in the style of classical composers. It's fun to guess who supposedly wrote each piece. I played it once yesterday and know I'll have lots of fun with it for December.

61FI%2BBmolBL._SL500_AA300_.jpgOH MY! Seeing that other people were showing the illustrations for their music, I searched for mine & see they also did What If Mozart Wrote White Christmas (that piece is on my CD, but presume other songs were added) and What If Mozart Wrote I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. They also did What If Mozart Wrote Born to Be Wild and another called HSQ Does Christmas (Again).

Looks like this discussion just may lead to knowing what I want for Christmas.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
5 years ago
921 posts

Let me start with three of my favorites.

345_forums.jpg?width=150

Although I do have a copy of Leon Redbon's Christmas Island album, my favorite island Christmas music is A Hawaiian Slack Key Christmas.

There are a variety of artists on this album, but any fan of stringed instruments will have to love it. The first tune is a really mellow but happy version of Jingle Bell Rock, and some of the picking is just outstanding on all the tunes. With only one exception, it is all instrumental. It all has the gentle island feel and the serenity of silent night, but if ever a hot lick can be called soothing, it is found on this album. Ilisten tothis almost everyday during the month of December. And the last tune is Auld Lang Syne, so you can justify playing the music until the New Year.

Another favorite of mine is the virtuoso mandolin playing on David Grisman and Andy Statman's Songs of Our Fathers.

347_forums.jpg?width=150Although this album is not technically a holiday album, I tend tolisten toit during Hanukkah,Passover, and the high holidays.It is filed with traditional Jewish music from Eastern Europe played in a modern style tinged with Klezmer and jazz sensibilities. The picking is top notch. These guys shred no matter what kind of music they play.

And more traditional is Chanticleer's Psallite! A Renaissance Christmas. Chanticleer is a male choir whose voices just meld together. Although their attempt to do gospel music on other albums falls short, they are in their element here singing the harmonies of classical compositions. Most of the lyrics are in Latin, so you'll need to invite a monk over to translate, but you can enjoy the precise solemn harmonies without understanding the words. I know I do.

348_forums.jpg?width=150

Whatever you listen to or play, whether "Daddy's drinking up our Christmas" or "all is calm, all is bright," I hope music complements the joy of the season for all of you.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

Ain't no money in poetry; that's what sets the poet free.
I've had all the freedom I can stand.
-- Guy Clark
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
5 years ago
921 posts

As we approach the holiday season this year, I want to admit that every year I treat myself to one album of holiday music. Over the years I've accumulated a decent collection, from Renaissance choral music by the Cambridge Choir to James Brown's Funky Christmas (Sant Claus goes straight to the ghetto, in case you didn't know!), from Charlie Brown's jazzy Christmas standards to El Vez (the Mexican Elvis impersonator) asking, "Mamacita, donde esta Santa Claus?"

I thought it might be nice if we shared with one another our holiday music recommendations. I'll start us off with a couple, but if no one else joins in "I'llhave a Blue Christmas without you."




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

Ain't no money in poetry; that's what sets the poet free.
I've had all the freedom I can stand.
-- Guy Clark

updated by @dusty-turtle: 06/11/15 07:33:34AM