Personnel: LeAnn Rimes (vocals); Michael Thompson (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, dobro); Michael Thompson (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Chris Bruce, Michael Herring , Dean Parks (acoustic guitar); John Chiodini (electric guitar); Gayle Levant (harp); John Wittenberg, Norm Hughes, Charles Everett, Joel Derouin, Peter Kent, Darius Campo, Charlie Bisharat, Mario Diaz de Leon (violin); Karie Prescott, Robert Becker, David Stenske (viola); Daniel Smith, Rudolph Stein (cello); Dino Soldo (harmonica); Ray Hermann, Matthew Zebley, Ray Herrmann (alto saxophone); Tim Misica (tenor saxophone); Willie Murillo, Kevin Norton , Kai Palmer, Kevin Richardson (trumpet); Steve Baxter, Arturo Velasco, Alex Henderson, George McMullen (trombone); Robbie Hioki (bass trombone); Cassandra ONeal (piano); Patrick Warren (organ, pump organ, synthesizer, string synthesizer, bells); Reggie Hamilton (upright bass); John Hatton (bass guitar); Sheila E., Sheila Escovedo (drums, percussion); Robbie Nevil (guitar); Jim Youngstrom (tenor saxophone); John Roberts (baritone saxophone); Leon "Ndugu" Chancler, Bernie Dresel (drums).
Audio Mixer: Al Schmitt.
Liner Note Author: LeAnn Rimes.
Recording information: 1023; Blue 52 Studios, Sherman Oaks, CA; Can Am Studios, Tarzana, CA; Capitol Studios, Hollywood, CA; Henson Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA; Vine St. Studios, Hollywood, CA; Westlake Audio, Hollywood, CA.
Photographer: James White .
Translator: John Sullivan Dwight.
Arrangers: Pete Amato; Greg Pagani; Ray Hermann.
LeAnn Rimes began her career at a tender age as a country prodigy before propelling herself to pop superstardom by the late 1990s, still in her teens. Therefore, it's rather fitting for her to open her first Christmas record, WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD, with "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," a song made famous by Brenda Lee, another singer beloved by fans of country and pop alike. Rimes takes a slightly jazzier, horn-fueled approach to the tune, while paying homage to Lee in her vocals.
Rimes follows this classic with a new carol she co-wrote, the sweet ballad "A Different Kind of Christmas," showing her oneness with the spirit of the holiday. In fact, Rimes adds three new offerings to the canons of Yuletide lore, all filled with the earnest joy of a child descending the stairs at dawn to the scent of chestnuts and holly. She also plays her hand ably on enduring classics, wrapping her voice in a country-tinged arrangement of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," while approaching "The Christmas Song" with appropriate subtlety. Rimes also knows when to rein in her voice, allowing the beauty of the title track to come through.