I debated before starting this blog whether I should say "holiday" music or "Christmas" music, but since there is only one Chanukah song worth mentioning at this time of year (Adam Sandler's Chanukah song), I thought I was okay going with Christmas.
I have been enthralled since early childhood with all things Christmas. I love the lights and the music and mostly the idea of everyone being nicer to each other. I also enjoy the baking and the presents. So if you resemble Scrooge in any way, this may not be the blog for you today. (And also, to my Jewish family and friends, I'm betting there are many of you who feel this way too. Forbidden fruit and all that.)
I started off this festive season by loading some Christmas CD's in my car and heading for the mall on black Friday. Many hours later, after sitting in traffic and standing in lines most of the day, it occurred to me that this was probably not the wisest idea I ever had...even if I did want to soak up the full flavor of the season. I did, however, enjoy listening to my music while stuck in the car, and it got me thinking about my favorite Christmas CD's of all time.
I will tell you that the best perk of being in the music business is that I am surrounded by the most talented people on earth. Most people think of this business as strictly being comprised of huge stars like Madonna, Mariah, Rihanna, and all those other one name entities. But there are thousands of people making music, and I dare say that the best ones are the ones you may not know. So while it would be easy to make mention of the ones we all listen to this time of year - the Amy Grants and the Nat King Coles, I thought I would give you all a treat and lead you to some true gems.
The first is brand spanking new this year and it is by far my new all time favorite. It is BethAnne Clayton's Remember. It is a combination of original songs and old favorites and it spans the gamut of most musical styles. I would tell you which song is my favorite, but it keeps changing each time I listen. It also moves me in a different way each time I listen. Hats off to BethAnne for a stunningly produced and amazingly sung CD. It is sprinkled with magic.
You can listen to samples and purchase BethAnne Clayton's CD at her website: (http://www.bethanneclayton.com/ ) or at CD Baby(http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/BethAnneClayton).
The next album that tops my list of all time favorites is an instrumental CD. And since it is purely piano, it too gets its own #1 slot. It is Christopher Finkelmeyer's Unforgotten Christmas. I can not say enough good things about it. It is moving. It is soothing. It is soul-stirring and magnificent. Normally I would worry about building this up too much, but I know you will not be disappointed.
You can hear samples of the CD on Chris's website (http://www.finkelmeyer.com/ ) and you can purchase it on Amazon.com.
Mak Kaylor's Glad Tidings has consistently been one CD that I love listening to each year. His voice is touched by God, and unlike many recordings that artists do, his vocals are imbued with the faith and passion of a true believer in what he is singing. You can listen to samples and purchase Mak's CD on his website (http://www.makkykaylor.com/gladtidings.html).
If you like big band Sinatra style music, you might want to give a listen to Perry Danos's This Christmas. In the interest of full disclosure I must tell you that this CD is also brand new and I haven't heard it in its entirety yet, however Perry (who sings a duet on BethAnne's CD as well) is one of my favorite singers and one of the nicest people I know. So you can check out his CD on his website (http://www.perrydanos.com/ ) and purchase it on Amazon.com.
This about rounds out my list of top Christmas CD's. I hope you go check them out and purchase them. I know you'll enjoy them.
Thanks for stopping by. Please tell your friends, and don't forget to enjoy the season!