The Campbell Brothers Sacred Steel For the Holidays
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- Released: September 1, 2002
- Label: Arhoolie Records
- 1.Silent Night - (with Campbell Brothers)
- 2.God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - (with Campbell Brothers)
- 3.Go Tell It on the Mountain - (with Campbell Brothers)
- 4.Rock of Ages - (with Campbell Brothers)
- 5.Dreydl Song, The - (with Campbell Brothers)
- 6.Joy to the World - (with Campbell Brothers)
- 7.What Child Is This - (with Campbell Brothers)
- 8.Hark the Herald Angels Sing - (with Campbell Brothers)
- 9.First Noel, The - (with Campbell Brothers)
- 10.Little Drummer Boy - (with Campbell Brothers)
- 11.Christmas Song - (with Campbell Brothers)
The Campbell Brothers: Phillip Campbell (guitar); Chuck Campbell (pedal steel guitar); Darick Campbell (lap steel guitar); Carlton Campbell (drums).
Additional personnel: Denise Brown (vocals).
The Campbell Brothers: Chuck Campbell (acoustic slide guitar, pedal steel guitar); Phillip Campbell (midi, bass guitar); Darick Campbell, Carlton Campbell.
Personnel: Denise Brown (vocals); Phillip Campbell (guitar, midi bass); Chuck Campbell (slide guitar); Darick Campbell (lap steel guitar); Carlton Campbell (drums).
Additional personnel: Dan Tyack (pedal steel guitar); Malcolm Kirby (bass guitar); Denise Brown.
Audio Mixers: Darick Campbell; Chuck Campbell ; Phillip Campbell.
Editor: Chuck Campbell .
Arrangers: Chuck Campbell ; Phillip Campbell.
If it weren't the exquisite taste and playing by the Campbell Brothers, this could all too easily fall into the trap of being close to a lounge Christmas album. But when you're working within a specific framework, it's hard to become too carried away, and seasonal albums don't lend themselves to the kind of jamming and unrestrained fervor so typical of a Campbell Brothers performance. So while a song like "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" might swing and enjoy a good solo, it's to the point and clipped, with a distinctly jazzy tone. The closest they come to really sounding like themselves is on "Go Tell It on the Mountain," which is more gospel than Christmas anyway. They do move beyond Christian celebration with a bopping version of "The Dreydl Song," guaranteed to get the feet moving at any Hanukkah party, although even then it never really takes off for the stratospheric heights the band is capable of. There is a nice diversion with "What Child Is This" set to the tune of "Greensleeves," but that's all it is.The main problem with this record is that it's pleasant. There's no edge, and there's certainly never the feeling of the players stretching themselves, or having to even break a sweat. This is the kind of thing they could do in their sleep. So while it's head and shoulders above most holiday records, it really doesn't compare to the rest of their oeuvre. But the chances are that it'll remain a perennial seller. ~ Chris Nickson
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