Wednesday, December 05, 2007

now playing: Harvey Reid & Joyce Anderson: Christmas Morning

Harvey Reid and Joyce Anderson recorded these songs on a Christmas morning where they live in Maine, with the snow swirling outside their windows. It’s a generous collection of eighteen tracks, opening with the image of the panoply of ships sailing and bells ringing across the world, I Saw Three Ships, and closing with the gentle Away in Manger.

Along the way they offer Stan Rogers’s First Christmas Away from Home, Jean Ritchie’s Winter Grace, two Reid originals, Not Grieve the Dying Light and The Candlelight Carol, the bluegrass favorite Beautiful Star of Bethlehem, and jazz/r&b standard Merry Christmas Baby, along with traditional carols including We Three Kings, Joy to the World, and the First Noel. Reid plays guitar and other strings, Anderson plays fiddle, they both sing, but not always: some of the tracks are instrumentals. There’s a natural intimacy to the project, enhanced by the fine musicianship and well chosen and sequenced songs. It’s a reflective record, with nuance and surprise enough to make it worth repeated listening, combined warmth enough to suggest it just may become a classic.

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


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