Light of the Stable: the Christmas Album

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Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Few Christmas albums mesmerize from first note to last like Emmylou Harris's 1980 gem, LIGHT OF THE STABLE. Bill Monroe's version of Tex Logan's jaunty "Christmas Time's A-Coming" is tough stuff, but Harris finds a touching tenderness in it that's further underscored by a beautiful autoharp solo from Brian Bowers. Those types of moments abound on this majestic, understated examination of the season's themes. Harris's respect for the lyric shows up in her sensitive delivery and deeply felt phrasing, which cradles the songs' heartfelt sentiments in feathery tones, soothing as a lullaby. In addition to revitalizing well-worn fare such as "O Little Town of Bethlehem" and ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Few Christmas albums mesmerize from first note to last like Emmylou Harris's 1980 gem, LIGHT OF THE STABLE. Bill Monroe's version of Tex Logan's jaunty "Christmas Time's A-Coming" is tough stuff, but Harris finds a touching tenderness in it that's further underscored by a beautiful autoharp solo from Brian Bowers. Those types of moments abound on this majestic, understated examination of the season's themes. Harris's respect for the lyric shows up in her sensitive delivery and deeply felt phrasing, which cradles the songs' heartfelt sentiments in feathery tones, soothing as a lullaby. In addition to revitalizing well-worn fare such as "O Little Town of Bethlehem" and "The First Noel," Harris approaches Rodney Crowell's "Angel Eyes" and the wondrous title song (by Steven and Elizabeth Rhymer, featuring backing vocals by Neil Young, Dolly Parton, and Linda Ronstadt) with absolute reverence for the miracles they describe. This is artistry of the highest caliber.
All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Emmylou Harris is an artist with the rare sort of voice that communicates an honest and firmly grounded humanity while possessing a crystalline purity that verges on the angelic. In short, she was a singer born to make a great Christmas album, and in 1979 she did just that with Light of the Stable, in which she fused the high-lonesome traditional sound she'd been exploring on Roses in the Snow and Blue Kentucky Girl with songs that honored the spiritual and emotional roots of the holiday season. The album's gestation began with a 1975 single of "Light of the Stable," with most of the material recorded years later, but Harris and producer Brian Ahern gave the project an admirably unified sound, which speaks of Christmas with a quiet dignity that's celebratory but reverent -- this is one of the few Christmas albums from a secular artist that scarcely mentions Santa Claus while focusing clearly on the birth of Christ. Harris and Ahern assembled a stellar cast for these sessions -- the pickers include Ricky Skaggs, James Burton, and Rodney Crowell, while Willie Nelson, Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton, and Neil Young pitch in backing vocals -- but the results are a marvel of restraint, with precious little showboating and a handful of performances that rank with the performers' best work. If you're looking for a disc that will kick up your Christmas party a few notches, Light of the Stable isn't it, but if you want to hear music of quiet but compelling beauty which warmly resonates with the true meaning of the holidays, then you'll find this album is an experience to treasure.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/25/1992
  • Label: Warner Bros / Wea
  • UPC: 075992348423
  • Catalog Number: 3484

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Emmylou Harris Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Ricky Skaggs Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Fiddle, Mandolin, Violin, Vocal Harmony
Rodney Crowell Acoustic Guitar, Hi String
Willie Nelson Vocal Harmony
Dolly Parton Vocal Harmony
Albert Lee Mandolin
Linda Ronstadt Vocal Harmony
Neil Young Vocal Harmony
James Burton Electric Guitar
Brian Ahern Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Percussion, Gut String Guitar, Acoustic Bass, 6-string bass
Michael Bowden Bass
Tony Brown Clavinet
Glen D. Hardin Piano
Hank DeVito Pedal Steel Guitar
Emory Gordy Bass
Sharon Hicks Vocal Harmony
Frank Reckard Electric Guitar
John Ware Drums
Cheryl Warren Vocal Harmony
Brian Bowers Autoharp
Nancy Ahern Vocals
Mike Bowden Bass
Technical Credits
Franz Gruber Composer
Brian Ahern Arranger, Producer, Engineer
Donivan Cowart Engineer
Steven Rhymer Composer
Stuart Taylor Engineer
Gabrielle Raumberger Art Direction
Joseph Mohr Composer
Phillip Brooks Composer
Elizabeth Rhymer Composer
William Sandys Composer
Nancy Ahern Arranger
Traditional Composer
James R. Murray Composer
Jonathan E. Spillman Arranger
Lewis Redner Composer
Henry Onerati Composer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Her voice is unbelievable

    Emyloo Harris captures the spirit and excitement of christmas in christmas times a comin and beutiful star of bethlehem. It wouldn't be Christmas without her.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews