A few years ago I shared about Over the Rhine‘s Christmas music. It is a little bit melancholy and a lot of gorgeous. I shared then that I had found one of my all time favorite Christmas albums from 1988, “A Broken Christmas,” was and still is on iTunes. There are quite a few albums that I enjoy this time of year that are not the usual Christmas fare and I thought I would share some with you.
- Over the Rhine – Let’s start here. They have “Blood Oranges in the Snow” (which doesn’t seem to be for sale on their site, but is on iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify. They also have the seasonally appropriate albums “Snow Angels” and “The Darkest Night of the Year.”
- Terry Scott Taylor – of Daniel Amos fame has a wonderful album “Songs for the Day After Christmas.” My favorite on the album (which I used in a Christmas sermon) is “May I Be Your Bethlehem.” “Holy God abide within, keep me in your perfect plan; Form Christ in me Lord, may I be another Bethlehem.”
- Larry Cordola – “Blues For The Child” is beautiful, jazzy, sumptuous.
- Bruce Cockburn – an artist I have loved for years, ever since I played cuts from his “World of Wonders” album on WETN radio station. His “Christmas” album features his beautiful guitar playing and quirky style. Some folks can’t quite stand his Canadian twang, but for those who do and haven’t discovered this album yet give it a play. Everyone should listen to it at least once. Lovely.
- Eric Clapton – “Happy Xmas.” It is Eric Clapton doing Christmas songs. Need I say much more?
- John Fahey – I only recently came to learn of this amazing fingerstyle guitarist. When I was in college I had a cassette tape of similar music, perhaps even his, with clean steel string guitar playing of classical Christmas music; this takes me back to that time. His work is amazing and he published several Christmas albums that can find in most music places.
Those are a handful of my favorites. What would you add?