A Very Special Acoustic Christmas

Various Artists
A Very Special Acoustic Christmas

Aside from Norah Jones’ bookending beauty of a tune, simply titled “Peace,” this 2003 installment of the Very Special Christmas series is composed of country music artists. But A Very Special Acoustic Christmas is hardly a Holiday hayride. For some reason, many contemporary country acts tend to desert twangy instruments when recording Christmas carols. Reba McEntire delivers a stunning rendition of “Silent Night” with a small but rich sounding choral group accompanying her buttery voice at the end. Even Alison Krauss substitutes her usual bluegrass instrumentation for soulful horns, an old funky Wurlitzer and an electric guitar with a wah-wah pedal and her “Only You Can Bring Me Cheer” may be the sweetest surprise here. Willie Nelson keeps things country on “Please Come Home For Christmas,” a honky-tonkin’ number with long, drawn-out fiddle parts weaving around chiming bells and a pedal steel weeping watery notes into this twangy tear-in-your-beer tune. Tift Merritt makes for the perfect tree-topping angel with her slow-burning and soulful take on “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.”

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