Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review- Various Artists: A Minnesota Christmas

Minn X-masThe time of year has come when people start thinking about the holidays and Christmas music. And each year, the catalog of music to search through grows bigger. Depending on what your taste in music is, you can find many albums that can make your holiday season more festive.

Just recently, a few musicians from the state of Minnesota got together to create some music to make the 2009 Holiday Season very festive; that CD is called Home For the Holidays: A Minnesota Christmas.

Home For The Holidays: A Minnesota Christmas was created with the idea of raising money during the Holiday Season to help a few local charities in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota make the time a lot merrier for residents of that region.

The CD of Home For The Holidays: A Minnesota Christmas begins with a song that was composed by one of Minneapolis, Minnesota’s best-known musicians, Tim Mahoney. Tim and his mother Kathy create a little holiday magic with Kathy’s composition of “You Are My Christmas” as Tim sings with his mother as he plays the piano to create a song for the modern Christmas celebration. The gentle feel of the piano from Kathy and the easy feel of the guitar from Tim come together to create a track that has a gentle simplicity to it.  

The next track on the album is a track entitled “One Small Child/We Three Kings”. The blended songs are arranged by the A’capella group of The Blenders. Like the group Take 6, The Blenders create a track that focuses on the more religious aspects on the Christmas holiday. The group takes a very traditional approach to the song and lets the listener enjoy the band’s vocals. “One Small Child/We Three Kings” is one track on the release that should make fans of more traditional Christmas music rather happy.

Speaking of traditional Christmas music, the traditional tune entitled “The Holly & The Ivy” is performed by one Katie McMahon whose vocals are very classical in their style. To go along with McMahon’s vocals, the music of the track also contains a style that many are familiar with. The track from Katie McMahon and the musicians who helped to shape the song stays true to the traditional arrangement of the song. It is the vocals from McMahon that helps bring the track to life.

While most of the album contains new arrangements of traditional songs, there are a few tracks, like “You Are My Christmas” from Tim Mahoney and his mother Kathy, that are less than traditional. Along with “You Are My Christmas,” another track on the release that falls into the more unusual category would be the song that features John Trones.

For his song on the Home For The Holidays: A Minnesota Christmas album, John Trones chose to perform the track “River” by Joni Mitchell. Much like the earlier track from Tim Mahoney and his mother Kathy, this track from John Trones features nothing but his vocals and a piano. The simplicity of that combination helps to give Joni Mitchell’s lyrics about wishing for a more traditional Christmas season a lot of power. This creates one of the more powerful moments on the release.  

As the listener makes their way through this Christmas release, the CD takes them on a trip through the many different styles of music found in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. From the piano driven sound of Tim Mahoney, to the A’capella styling of The Blenders, to the many other styles and genres of music that are created by the artists that took part in the making of this album, there is something for everyone’s tastes on Home For The Holidays: A Minnesota Christmas, including the Celtic Rock created by Wild Colonial Bhoys.

Home For The Holidays: A Minnesota Christmas is very regional. While the artists on the CD may be well known in the Twin Cities, these artists may not be known outside of that region. Not only is the CD a great collection of well-known tunes and newer original compositions, it is also a great way to discover some great talent that you may not have heard of before. To discover the CD of Home For The Holidays: A Minnesota Christmas, as well as the artists that took part in creating the CD, visit the website for the CD by simply clicking on the album cover below:

(As an additional bonus for the visitors to this site who call the Twin Cities home, there is an added bonus to check out the Home For The Holidays: A Minnesota Christmas CD- The CD comes with a coupon for free parking to the IBEW Holiday Lights in the Park. However, the coupon expires at the end of the year. )


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