Kimmie Rhodes 'Miracles On Christmas Day' Sunbird

As befits the album's title this album is full of warm sounds and good tidings. Rhodes is well know to her followers who will be well at home with the sentiments of these songs. Penned in the main by Rhodes and on occasion with a writing partner. Her son Gabriel and husband Joe are again, central to the proceedings. Gabriel behind the recording and Joe looking after the mixing and mastering. They are joined by a diverse set of players including Hunts Sales taking care of the rhythms, Glen Fukunaga on bass, Tommy Spurlock on pedal steel, Floyd Domino on piano and Joel Guzman on accordion alongside Gabriel multi-instrumental contribution. The afore mentioned players may suggest something more countryish than is actually the case. The songs are diverse in arrangements and musical style. Her Wake Up Sleepy Town has a lovely vocal delivery over Guzman's accordion backing. Elsewhere the vocals are delivered in a lighter almost whisper that suits the songs theme and mood. The Toymaker's Hands a case in point. The songs are strong enough that some could become standards and are ripe for covering by other artists. Their arrangement of What Child Is This is haunting and beautiful, the mix of cello and spanish guitar leading to Rhodes elegant vocal. Patty Griffin's Mary is one of the few wholly outside songs and its given an equally strong reading that is in keeping with the strong lyric. There are those that love Christmas albums and those that run a million miles away but this album has been put together not to cash in on a sentimental trend but for the right reasons, for the love of a season. It shows.