Sunday, December 7, 2008

Holiday Music: Shawn Colvin

Not that I think anyone is paying that close attention, but I am going to change the holiday music posting approach. I am still going with the advent approach--that is, a post a week for the four weeks leading up to Christmas for all you heathens. However, rather than doing the various genres I suggested last week, I am going to stick with one type of music for this year (pop/rock influence) followed by a final post on a classic album. If we are still around next year we will take up another genre or style--jazz, classical, compilations, etc. All of which is to say, we are sticking with pop/rock influenced holiday album this week (as if you didn't know that from the title).

This week's pick is influenced by the weather (and of course my attachment to the album). Yesterday started cold (about freezing) with blue skies but quickly became a gray day with low December light. Mid-afternoon brought a light snow that continued into the night and left a skiffof snow on the ground this morning with flakes still swirling in the air. We spent the weekend doing holiday errands, putting up a few tasteful outdoor lights (in case anyone is taking video), building fires, making lists, walking in our little snow, and drinking eggnog (and a few other holiday spirits).

Shawn Colvin's Holiday Songs and Lullabies was made for just such weather. Calm and peaceful like a first December snow, Colvin arranges a host of wonderful songs on this 1998 release.  It has the potential to be a sugary holiday overload, but Colvin's sincerity and vocals (that could make the phonebook sound like great lyrics) overcomes any such worries.

Now this album is slow with little attempt to be anything else, so don't try it on unless you aren't ready for some quietude. I surely have a soft spot for it since I have been listening to it for the last eight years which has, for at least six of them, involved rocking small boys to sleep, so it has been the perfect holiday album. But a fire on a cold night and your favorite sippin' and a good book (or blog) is the perfect companion for this holiday album.

The song choice is also key. There are some traditional tunes here (e.g. Silent Night), but a good number of the songs are not ones you will hear on your local holiday radio station, or, frankly, on other holiday albums. So all you peaceful folks or new parents looking for an album to quiet the little one in your home, here are a few samples to put you in that seasonal and contemplative mood (0r you can just Buy the Album).

In the Bleak Mid-Winter
Love Came Down at Christmas
Little Road to Bethlehem

1 comment:

Lisa B. said...

I love this recording as well, but as you know, La Colvin is a big fave. My kids love this too. I love In the Bleak Midwinter--such a beautiful song, and I love her vocal, the arrangement, the tempo, everything. I also appreciate that All the Pretty Horses is on this recording (can't remember if that's her exact title--), as I used to sing it to my kids when they were falling asleep.