Rick Lang was a class mate of mine when I did the Leadership Bluegrass programme a few years back and I knew then he was a fine songwriter. But this little collection of self-penned seasonal gems took me just a little by surprise. Each track is a stand alone trip through Rick’s thoughts and very personal feelings on the Christmas season and just about every musical genre is featured at some time over the ten tracks. After the first few opening chords I half expected Harry Connick Jr or Michael Buble to jump in but what I got was a stellar set of performances from singers and musicians some of whose names I had never heard before.
But my bluegrass ear was quick to recognise Ron Block, Darin and Brook Aldridge and the amazing Sierra Hull. This is not your usual Christmas album with the artists giving us their renditions of all our old favourites but a total newbie with well written words and melodies that could well feature on some of our Christmas listening over the years to come. It’s a credit to Rick and all the gang involved that this one got uploaded to my trusty iPod and has been on constant rotation with the other albums on this set of reviews.