A follow up to 2017’s Christmas On The Countryside, Bear Family Records have curated another compilation of country music, honky-tonk, and hillbilly boogie. Featuring 26 tracks recorded between the 1940s and the 1960s; Is this compilation worth picking up?
Featuring such artists as Jim Reeves, Brenda Lee and Eddy Arnold, this collection will feel familiar even to those not well versed in country music. Not only are there familiar voices here, but well known Christmas standards too. This combination alone leaves the listener with that warm feeling of tradition so coveted during the festive season.
However, the country music fan will also adore this varied collation. There are some slightly deeper cuts here, such as The Louvin Brothers’ “It’s Christmas Time” and George Morgan’s “Blue Snowfall”. Even renditions of well known and loved Christmas standards by artists equally well-known to a country audience lend this album a lovely mood.
For this reviewer, the listening experience, track by track, was mellow and comforting. The combination of top artists and everyone’s seasonal favourites is perfect here.
As with many releases of this type, the quality depends on the original conditions of recording, along with the source of the modern transfer. Most tracks are clean sounding transfers that sound as if they come from high-quality origins. The sound is rich and inviting in most cases, allowing the tracks to evoke the festive feeling nicely.
A Little Something Extra:
The CD comes in a standard case and includes a booklet containing liner notes by Roland Heinrich, alongside a wealth of artist information, relevant illustrations, and photographs. This booklet certainly stands up to Bear Family Records’ usual high standard, providing lots of welcome extra content.
- Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys – When It’s Christmas On The Range
- Wilf Carter (Montana Slim) – Jolly Old St. Nicholas
- Gene Autry – Here Comes Santa Claus
- Bill Monroe – Christmas Time’s A-Coming
- The Louvin Brothers – It’s Christmas Time
- Ray Salter & The Twin City Playboys – Christmas Decoration
- Little Jimmy Dickens – No Place Like Home On Christmas
- Tex Ritter – Christmas Carols By The Old Corral
- George Morgan – Blue Snowfall
- Ernest Tubb – White Christmas
- Cliff Bruner & His Texas Wanderers – Snowflakes
- Eddy Arnold – Christmas Can’t Be Far Away
- Kitty Wells – Christmas Ain’t Like Christmas Anymore
- Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys – Empty Chair At The Christmas Table
- Jim Reeves – Blue Christmas
- Brenda Lee – I’m Gonna Lasso Santa Claus
- Billy Briggs – North Pole Boogie
- Red Foley – Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer
- George Jones – New Baby For Christmas
- Wilf Carter – The Night Before Christmas in Texas, That Is
- Nelson Young – Home At Christmas
- Skeeter Davis – Santa Claus Is Coming
- Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys – Santa’s On His Way
- The Prairie Ramblers – Cowboy Santa Claus
- Terry Fell – We Wanna See Santa Do The Mambo
- Ray Salter & The Twin City Playboys – I Wish Every day Was Christmas
There is something here for everyone. From the best known and loved Christmas tunes of yesteryear, bringing that feeling of tradition, to some of the most well-known and respected names in country music, this album ticks all the boxes.
For the casual listener, it sets a lovely seasonal mood: this genre of music is so evocative. For the country music fan, it might be a perfect collection for this time of year.
As for me, I shall be keeping this one on the CD shelf, ready to be dusted off and set the festive mood for me every Christmas from now on. Christmas On The Range is well worth the investment.