Christmas In the Heart
Sure, Bob Dylan’s a folk hero, a man interested in songs that stand the test of time. Over the years, he’s become quite enamored with his backing band, who can recreate the pre-rock ‘n’ roll-era roadhouse blues without a pause. So in 2009, with a voice made of sandpaper, Bob Dylan can be a crooner of tunes such as “Do You Hear What I Hear?,” “O’ Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles)” and “Silver Bells” and croon as peculiarly as he’s been known to sing, with notes disappearing, phrases rephrased and a ton of personal joy tucked in the performance. Only Dylan would sound like he’s clearing his throat at the onset of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” Backing singers, a prominent element on records from Bob’s childhood, chase him down the holiday aisles. This won’t be everyone’s idea of a holiday item, but for Dylan fans, accustomed to the bard’s unusual turns of inspiration, Christmas In the Heart is one more way-out gift from an American treasure.