A blog about music from Canada and beyond.

Long reads, short reads and bite-size bits.
Nicholas Jennings

Music Review: Blue Rodeo - A Merrie Christmas to You

bluerodeoBlue Rodeo is a summer favorite. But here the veteran Canadian band brings its rootsy vibe to wintry songs, including Jim Cuddy’s new “Home To You This Christmas.” The group also delivers such superb covers as a chiming take on Big Star’s “Jesus Christ,” a warm rendition of Gordon Lightfoot’s “Song for a Winter’s Night” and a stirring version of The Band’s “Christmas Must Be Tonight.” 
496 Hits
Nicholas Jennings

Measha Brueggergosman - …In Celebration of Christmas

Measha Brueggergosman - …In Celebration of Christmas
Raised in the choir of her Baptist church, Measha grew up to become a respected opera singer. She draws on both musical influences on her first holiday album, which ranges from “Do You Hear What I Hear?” to a 16th century German carol. Measha also shows her soulful side with “The Little Drummer Boy,” which she turns into a funky Mardi Gras-style jam.
369 Hits
Nicholas Jennings

Idina Menzel - Holiday Wishes

Idina Menzel - Holiday Wishes
A star of stage and screen, Menzel sang the Oscar-winning song “Let It Go” in Frozen. Now the New York native lends her potent soprano to warming up old chestnuts like “Silent Night” and “What Are You Doing on New Year’s Eve?” But the highlights are her duet with Michael Bublé on “Baby It’s Cold Outside” and her rendition of Joni Mitchell’s Christmas-themed “River.”
425 Hits
Nicholas Jennings

Michael W. Smith & Friends - The Spirit of Christmas

Michael W. Smith & Friends - The Spirit of Christmas
Nashville loves a little twang in its Yuletide. On his fourth holiday album, Smith brings together the top names in country music, including Vince Gill and Martina McBride, to join him on their favorite festive tunes. The Grammy-winning singer also duets with Carrie Underwood and Lady Antebellum, but saves the biggest surprise for “The Darkest Midnight,” a traditional Irish carol read by U2’s Bono.
454 Hits
Nicholas Jennings

LeAnn Rimes - ONE Christmas

leannrimes“I love everything about the holidays,” enthuses Rimes—so much so that the Grammy-winning country star is releasing a trio of Yuletide-themed EPs over the next three years. The first finds her covering favorites originally recorded by Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, Stevie Wonder and Dolly Parton, whose “Hard Candy Christmas” allows Rimes a chance to put her own sweet touch on the season.  
409 Hits
Nicholas Jennings

Various artists - Christmas at Downton Abbey

downtonThe sumptuous, post-Edwardian world of Downton Abbey is well suited to Yuletide celebration. Christmas specials of the popular award-winning TV series are already an annual tradition, which makes this double album the perfect stocking stuffer for fans of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants. Many of the 45 tracks are sung by the likes of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and the Choir of Kings College. And the Budapest City Orchestra performs an extended festive-suite version of the series theme. But the songs that will most excite Downton foll...
Continue reading
436 Hits
Nicholas Jennings

Matthew Morrison - A Classic Christmas

matthewmorrisonxmasEarlier this year, Morrison revealed his Broadway roots with Where It All Began, a collection of songs from his favorite musicals. Now the star of TV’s Glee shows his fondness for seasonal songs. Working with producer Phil Ramone, he recorded six tracks with a 60-piece orchestra at Capitol Records where Frank Sinatra made his best albums. “That’s why we called it A Classic Christmas,” Morrison explains, “because it’s very classic in the way they used to record.” Crooning his way through Yuletide nuggets like “Let It Snow” and “O Holy Night,” Mo...
Continue reading
718 Hits