This morning, if you check in early, you'll get to see this blog happen in real time. Long story, but I ended up out of town yesterday - unexpectedly - and didn't get home until the middle of the night. Totally spaced on the blog until about 7:20, when I dashed to the Mac and started typing.
Holiday Music - we love it! It's not just me, either - several of our TLC friends do too, and I hope we'll hear from them, since I can't find their e-mails right now - sorry about that!
Before we cover Christmas music in all its varieties, a few words about Thanksgiving Music - yes, there is such a thing and who else would go to all the trouble to find it for you? That's right, just me.
There are the standard favorites, like "Celebrate Me Home", "Count Your Blessings" and "Bless This House", and the favorite religious songs like "All Good Gifts" and "Now Thank We All Our God." Any turkey can throw those on a CD. But what if you want more - and you're not willing to settle for the instrumental Windham Hill CD (which is terrific)? Fear not, young pilgrim, for you have arrived in the new world. Try these:
Want something funny? Adam Sandler's "Thanksgiving Song" (some concepts objectionable) or Firesign Theater's "Thanksgiving, or Pass the Indian, Please", or choose the Loony Toon version of "Over the River"
Don't mind some Christmas mixed in? "Christmas is Coming" - the goose is getting fat and so forth, or "December Makes Me Feel This Way".
The following artists all have Thanksgiving songs - the first is from a brand new CD:
Mary Chapin Carpenter, Beatroots, Chris Winters, Debbie Friedman, John McCutcheon, Shawna Carol, Teddy Goldstein, Deb Talan, Benjy Westmoreland, Bowman, Jay Unger & Molly Mason (a Thanksgiving Waltz that's wonderful), and Josh Groban (from last year's amazing CD).
Okay, that's a lot of info, and I may have to go back and edit later. But first, HOLIDAY MUSIC.
If you're not a true fan, we may lose you early. Some people just stick with the old Time-Life Boxed Set and call it a party. Tsk, tsk. Over the years, I've broken down the music into segments - otherwise, there is just no way to narrow it down. More on that in the next blog, because I can already tell this is going to be way too long.
This year's new Holiday CDs-
Still To Come: Aretha Franklin (her FIRST) - out December 2nd.
Already have the entire new CD (which tells you how much I love the artist, because otherwise, it's cherry-picking from iTunes):
Harry Connick, Jr. - "What A Night!" - this is his third holiday CD with NO duplicates. I just love that.
Yo-Yo Ma & Friends - "Songs of Joy and Peace" - great collaborations with artists from Diana Krall to Alison Krauss.
Al Jarreau - "Christmas" his first Holiday CD and the guy can still bring it.
And the one I've been looking forward to since last year's "12 Days" video - Straight No Chaser's "Holiday Spirits"
My other selections are from Melissa Etheridge, Faith Hill, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Brian McKnight and Amy Grant. And there is a new "Very Special Christmas" CD with a variety of great picks. As always, proceeds benefit the Special Olympics.
Still reading? Okay - my top picks from 2007, in no particular order - (pick your favorite tracks from iTunes or another service):
Josh Groban's "Noel" - just stunning
Carnie Wilson's "Christmas With Carnie" - lovely
Barry Manilow's "The Swing of Christmas" - a must for all Fanilows
Yolanda Adams "What a Wonderful Time"
Patti LaBelle's "Miss Patti's Christmas" - no surprises - you like her or you don't
Jim Brickman's "Homecoming" - great piano and some vocals too, including Richie McDonald
Diamond Rios' "The Star Still Shines"
Michael W. Smith's "It's A Wonderful Christmas"
John Pizzarelli's " Let's Share Christmas"
Relient K's "Let It Snow Baby, Let it Reindeer" (get it? say it out loud)
For more religious Christmas music:
Bebo Norman's "Christmas from the Realms of Glory"
Jars of Clay "Christmas Songs"
David Phelps "One Wintry Night" - plus "Joy, Joy" - both are amazing
Ernie Hasse & Signature Sound "Christmas With"
"Gloria (Studio Version)" - a compilation CD
Chanticleer's "Let It Snow"
Yikes. Not that I get carried away with this stuff or anything...
Okay, I need my Frapps. Bad. In the holiday spirit, please help me out here - what are your favorites?