STYLE: Orchestral RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 9207-8925 LABEL: True North TNMD0083 FORMAT: CD Album RRP: £15.99
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
Another Christmas gem we can’t let pass without a review. I don’t often feel inclined to quote publicity sheets but this one from Revolver Records is almost a concise review of their reissue of this 1993 gem. “Taking his love of spiritually inspired Christmas music and giving it a rootsy and uplifting treatment, Cockburn has made the very antithesis of the cloying, tacky and sentimental Christmas albums churned out yearly by lesser artists.” Whether he’s doing a wheezing, Dylanesque version of “O Little Town Of Bethlehem” or the quite lovely “Jesus Ahatonnia” (otherwise known as “The Huron Carol” written by Jesuit martyr Father Jean de Brebeuf) Cockburn shows himself to be an intuitive interpreter of songs. My favourite is a rollicking version of an old blues gospel gem I once had on a vinyl album. “Early On One Christmas Morn” was originally recorded by The Cottontop Mountain Sanctified Singers featuring the lead vocals of Frankie ‘Half-Pint’ Jaxon, a transvestite dwarf. Now you couldn’t make up a history like that.
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