Thursday, December 3, 2015
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: A SPECIAL ISLAND CHRISTMAS - IN SUPPORT OF SPECIAL OLYMPICS P.E.I.
Leave it up to our pals on P.E.I. to have a great time at Christmas, and for a good cause. This set was put together to benefit Special Olympics PEI, and features an all-star Island line-up. Lennie Gallant? Yup, he's here, doing The Little Drummer Boy, those mellow pipes giving us the pa-rum-pa-pa-pums. You're probably sold already.
It's a collection of ten classics, with added Island charm. Gordie MacKeeman & his Rhythm Boys have some fun with God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen, with guest singer (and current Dixie Chicks fave) Meaghan Blanchard taking the guest vocals. Tim Chiasson turns in a beauteous We Three Kings, harmonies supplied by Amy and Rachel Beck. Ashley Condon gives a spirited, folky feel to Go Tell It On The Mountain, and Dennis Ellsworth gets a little misty over Blue Christmas.
Jon Matthews produced and engineered the set, and gives it a warm and rootsy vibe throughout, from the jazz combo feel of Brian J. Dunn and Ian Toms on Winter Wonderland to the sanctuary glow of the Becks' O Holy Night. Paper Lions cap things off in a surprising new arrangement of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, with close harmonies the whole way through, a great pop version. This is certainly one of the best charity Christmas sets I've heard.