[click on anything in bold to read more about each musician]
We get used to musicians having one identifiable style. But would you still recognize your favorite artist playing in a completely different mode? What’s to say some of your favorite Americana musicians like Jimbo Mathus and Eric Ambel aren’t playing classical songs or classic bluegrass or classic heavy metal when there’s no one else around to hear? We may never know.
But we do know this. These Solo Sounds Christmas playlists (on both Spotify and YouTube) present an opportunity to hear some of them playing classic solo Christmas songs, no vocals, with just their hands and fingers on instruments in the blissful setting of the highest quality recording gear. No band, no rhythm section, no vocals.
This list features Jimbo Mathus (on blues guitar), Eric Ambel (on electric guitar), Mike Brenner from Marah (on slide guitar), Katie Curley from Bourbon Express (on harp), Rob Arthur from Peter Frampton (on piano), Trevor Exter (on cello), Arthur Lipner (on vibes) and Pete Kennedy (on ukulele).
Solo Sounds is a label dedicated to, well, this type of intimate solo instrumental recording. Co-founded by Scott Reilly (Mojo Nixon, the Orchard) and Eric Ambel (Steve Earle, Nils Lofgren), the label records musicians playing one famed album solo on a unique instrument. Each album is produced by Ambel with Mario Viele at Cowboy Technical Services, and recorded with the technical precision you’d expect. The pristine recording style is what allows you to sit back and really hear the playing. Listen to the holiday songs, and also follow their playlists, because as they expand this project, you’ll want to see who they record next!