This album has become my all time favorite for Christmas and if I had to choose one to listen to until the end of time, this one would be it. I was gifted this Christmas Album years ago by my dear friend. We share a deep love of music and this was such a beautiful gift. This album has been one that our family has come to enjoy for years. Its beautifully made sound with acoustically based instruments and multiple voices has such lovely folk songs that we often find every one singing along with these songs. It’s hard not to sing along with these beautiful timeless songs.
If you’re looking for a new Christmas album and like folk music this is for your family. Actually it’s good for anyone young and old. These old songs being revived are a great treasure. Elizabeth Mitchell is a talented folk artist and well known more for her children’s music but her music community runs deep. When listening to this you will realize yes, that’s Natalie Merchant singing along with her as well as Simi Stone, Amy Helm, Ruthy Ungar, and guest singer Peggy Seeger. These are songs that are folk carols that have been mostly forgotten through time as the popularity of more secularized versions of Christmas songs fills the airwaves.
The Smithsonian Folkways Recordings describes it as “a spirited collection of folk carols drawn from Ruth Crawford Seeger’s 1953 songbook American Folk Songs for Christmas. Featuring Elizabeth Mitchell and a luminary list of her musical family, friends, and neighbors, this album celebrates the spirit of community and homespun traditions that existed in times before the commercialization of Christmas.”
PS: various streaming services offer this album digitally and often we have discovered that seasonally it is free for subscribers. It’s worth checking those sites for a listen. Also you can see the videos on the web by searching for the album name.
PPS: I do not want to specifically name sites, vendors, etc. nor link directly to those many sites. I have discovered that time changes and links break and that I don’t check frequently enough on those things to ensure their working order. Besides, as a librarian, I firmly believe good old fashioned research still is the best way to find the things.