Traditional Christmas

A Traditional Christmas

by Joe Nichols
     
 
A good year for Joe Nichols just got better. His first Yuletide offering, A Traditional Christmas is a genial, heartfelt winner. With the help of producer Brent Rowan, Nichols revivifies these familiar seasonal offerings with tasty arrangements heavy on acoustic instruments (an electric guitar chimes in on occasion, but only briefly), with tin whistle, autoharp

Overview

A good year for Joe Nichols just got better. His first Yuletide offering, A Traditional Christmas is a genial, heartfelt winner. With the help of producer Brent Rowan, Nichols revivifies these familiar seasonal offerings with tasty arrangements heavy on acoustic instruments (an electric guitar chimes in on occasion, but only briefly), with tin whistle, autoharp, and recorder adding rustic touches to a couple of tracks, and a clarinet lending a Dixieland flavor to the bouncy celebration of "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" "I'll Be Home for Christmas" is irresistible as a pop-styled shuffle energized by a crooning chorus, a speed-picked gut-string guitar solo, humming organ, and dancing piano runs. Jim Hoke's keening tin whistle cries add a poignant air to a reverential treatment of "Silent Night." Taken at a casual lope, "Winter Wonderland" is doubly engaging for Hoke's warm, shimmering harmonica fills and a western swing feel Bob Wills would endorse. The ingredient that brings it all home is, of course, Nichols's vocalizing. Echoes of young Merle Haggard all over him, Nichols lays down one affecting performance after another: He's engagingly playful on "Let It Snow!...," somber and reflective on "O Holy Night," welcoming and avuncular on a lilting "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," and soothing on a dreamy, romantic take of "The Christmas Song." Minus even a trace of bombast, outsized emotions, or sugar-sweet sentimentality, A Traditional Christmas evokes the feelings and values that should bind folks together throughout the year, not only during the holidays. It plays like an instant classic.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Maria Konicki Dinoia
It may be a little early in Nichols' career for a Christmas album, yet this alto-baritone delivers a simple one. But simple's a good thing when it comes to holiday albums. The ten-track collection covers all the favorites, so there's no room for anything new. Nichols' take on such traditional fare as "I'll Be Home for Christmas," "Silver Bells" and "O Holy Night" is pure country, steady and strong. The Alan Jackson sound-alike makes you wish for Christmas more than once a year.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/28/2004
Label:
Universal South
UPC:
0602498623626
catalogNumber:
000258802

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Joe Nichols   Primary Artist,Vocals
Shannon Forrest   Drums
Jim Hoke   Clarinet,Harmonica,Accordion,Autoharp,Recorder,Soprano Saxophone,tin whistle
David Hungate   Double Bass,Upright Bass
Gordon Mote   Organ,Synthesizer,Piano
Brent Rowan   Guitar,Electric Guitar,Keyboards
Lisa Cochran   Background Vocals
Bryan Sutton   Acoustic Guitar,Soloist,Hi String
Wes Hightower   Background Vocals
Shannon Forest   Drums

Technical Credits

Irving Berlin   Composer
Mel Tormé   Composer
Buck Ram   Composer
Felix Bernard   Composer
Sammy Cahn   Composer
Ray Evans   Composer
Kim Gannon   Composer
Walter Kent   Composer
Susan Levy   Art Direction
Jay Livingston   Composer
Hugh Martin   Composer
Gary Paczosa   Engineer
Brent Rowan   Arranger,Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Chris Rowe   Engineer
Jule Styne   Composer
Robert Wells   Composer
Dick Smith   Composer
Ralph Blane   Composer
Karen Cronin   Art Direction
Chris Latham   Engineer
Traditional   Composer

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