Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays

by Bruce RobisonBruce Robison


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Kelly Willis and her spouse Bruce Robison both have a knack for writing simple, emotionally straightforward country tunes, and they know how to make them work in the studio with plenty of heart and soul and a low level of extraneous fluff. So it's good to see them release a collaborative album at last, even if it's a modest Christmas-themed effort, and Happy Holidays finds the couple in fine form together. Dominated by covers (Robison contributes the album's sole original, "Oklahoma Christmas," which sounds like a more concise and less snarky variation on Robert Earl Keen's "Merry Christmas from the Family"), Happy Holidays moves back and forth between seasonal torch songs (Willis sounds sexy indeed on "Santa Baby," and she and Robison are both playful and sensuous on "Baby, It's Cold Outside"), somber but celebratory numbers such as "In the Bleak Midwinter" and "A Winter's Tale" (delivered respectively by Willis and Robison with feeling and dignity), and twangy Yuletide tunes, such as Charlie Louvin's "Shut in at Christmas," Buck Owens' "Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy," and the tongue-in-cheek "Please Daddy Don't Get Drunk." While the production and arrangements are elegant and concise, this hardly sounds like a tossed-together Christmas quickie, with the headliners and their backing musicians presenting these songs with care and affection, and if this isn't the twang-tastic holiday disc some might have expected, it delivers equal portions of taste, passion and great music, and anyone with an ear for either Willis or Robison will want to have this on hand for their tree-trimming party.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/29/2006
Label: Rykodisc
UPC: 0014431088223
catalogNumber: 10882
Rank: 168826

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bruce Robison   Primary Artist,Bass
Floyd Domino   Piano
Kevin McKinney   Guitar
Riley Osbourne   Keyboards
George Reiff   Bass
Rafael Gayol   Drums
Glenn Kawamoto   Bass
Chip Dolan   Keyboards,Hammond Organ
John Ludwick   Bass Fiddle
Keith Gattis   Electric Guitar
Tracy Seeger   Strings
Gary Newcomb   Pedal Steel Guitar
Jeff Plankenhorn   Dobro,Pedal Steel Guitar
Ames Asbell   Strings
Conrad Choucroun   Drums
Sara Nelson   Strings
Leigh Mahoney   Strings
Eamon McLoughlin   Fiddle
Andrew Nafziger   Acoustic Guitar,Dobro,Electric Guitar
Warren Hood   Fiddle
Bobby Natanson   Drums
Larry E. Williams   Saxophone

Technical Credits

Buck Owens   Composer
Frank Loesser   Composer
Sammy Cahn   Composer
Bill Danoff   Composer
Jay Hudson   Engineer
Charlie Louvin   Composer
Taffy Nivert   Composer
Bruce Robison   Composer
Jule Styne   Composer
Philip Springer   Composer
R.B. Morris   Composer
Kevin Szymanski   Engineer
James Calloway   Engineer
Tony Springer   Composer
J. Javits   Composer

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