STYLE: Roots/Acoustic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 163493-24656 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Mike Rimmer
Garth has been plying his trade since the early '70s and the guitar strumming harmonica toting songwriter has found a place as a troubadour travelling and reporting what he sees. Garth's heart for the poor and those who are treated unjustly has influenced his song writing. Sometimes it's said that preachers only have one sermon which comes out no matter what they're preaching and I feel the same for Hewitt that whatever he's doing, his concern for the disadvantaged comes out. Even on a Christmas record! The spoken word "Making Holy Dreams Come True" is a moving reflection on the modern Bethlehem and the communities living there. The title song is a plea for peace and a challenge to take a stand to bring about that peace. His Christmas songs celebrate the arrival of the Prince Of Peace but he sings of greater concerns and reminds us that Jesus isn't just for Christmas but his message needs to stir us up to be peacemakers. Songs like "The Child Of Christmas", ""Bethlehem Is Calling" and "Candle Of Hope" capture these sentiments perfectly. Musically, these gentle songs work really well, mixing together the Christmas sentiments with inspiring thoughts. Whilst a great deal of Christmas releases re-tread the same old same old, Hewitt builds on the seasonal messages but adds another dimension. Two more highlights are "One Of Us" where he writes and sings with his old friend Paul Field and a new version of "Don't Blame God For Christmas" which shines a light on the shallowness of the commercialised Christmas with its debt traps. His roots as a protest singer continues to come to the surface to challenge the listener and in an era where we seem to be losing our sense of compassion for refugees and the poor, this is a timely album which reminds us that Jesus Himself was born to a pair of refugees with only a stable for shelter.
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