Americana Highways

2019’s Christmas Music Roundup: Songs and Albums Highlights

Lists & Polls Reviews



While this may be a minute late, it still gets to you before Christmas so you can stream and download a whole batch of songs just in time!

If you haven’t read the reviews of the Keb Mo & Josh Rouse Christmas albums I highly suggest you browse our archives to get caught up. Both artists have really done a fantastic job of not only delivering a great collection of holiday themed songs but also creating new classics that are sure to find a place on holiday playlists for years to come. and

Australian treasure Paul Kelly has a new collection slated for a 2020 release but his “How to Make the Gravy” is a top contender for Christmas song of the year. His unique, signature style is on full display as a convict is sending his Christmas wishes home to his family. Since he’s not there, the instructions on how to make the gravy correctly are most important as is the sage advice on how to handle the trials and tribulations of the season. It’s a great song and a perfect off beat way to kick off this review.

Big Head Todd & The Monsters are an American institution. Their blend of soulful blues rock, anchored by Todd ‘s voice has allowed them to carve out a career that still finds them playing to sold out crowds the country over. “Mountain Christmas” opens with accordion (No polka) and acoustic guitar before Mohr comes in. Introspective and less urgent, his voice sounds like a less raspy John Hiatt with this beautiful offering. The subtle brush drumming and instrumentation take the back seat but mesh nicely to create a stunning testament to the holiday.

Hot on the heels of their excellent new release Half Moon Light The Lone Bellow dropped “A Marshmallow World” from A Dualtone Christmas, a perfect showcase for the trio. Their voices blend effortlessly and the whimsical instrumentation will have you bobbing your head in no time. This song is fun and reminder of how a simple melody can instantly brighten the moment.

Aware compilation stalwart Edwin McCain figured the time was right to release his first Christmas album, Merry Christmas Baby on Saguaro Road Records. This is a big fun record! Recorded with a full band, complete with a horn section and Ivan Neville on all things keys, the record has a New Orleans vibe that is sure to make your season bright. While the album does not really explore any new themes, the title track, “Christmas in New Orleans” and “Winter Wonderland” all illustrate how these holiday classics can have new life breathed into them.

Taking things in a lightly different direction, Joey Sommerville’s jazzy instrumental rendition of “O Holy Night” sets a nice tone. The trumpets takes the vocal track and the smooth flow lets the track ease along, giving the listener a nice moment to immerse themselves in the music and rejoice in the season.

Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors’ EP Let It Snow surprisingly finds itself at the top of my list of holiday releases. Their version of “Let It Snow” featuring Ellie Holcomb on co-lead vocals is a darn near perfect rendition of this holiday classic. The two original tracks really caught my attention (as I like my artists to create and not just reimagine). “Christmas Style” & “It’s Christmas” really showcase the holiday feeling without being cliché. I put both track in the same vein as JD McPherson’s songs from last year’s excellent Socks as a comparison point. After listening and relistening to this three song EP all I want for Christmas are a few more songs to round out the collection. and

If you gotta go folky this holiday season, go no further than Ottawa based duo Silent Winters’ Christmas Morning album. Their full-on folk approach pairs nicely with this collection of holiday classics. Kick back in front of the fireplace, lights twinkling on the tree and enjoy the season with someone you love, or at least kinda like.

Wade Bowen’s rendition of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” is surprisingly good. Its fun, upbeat and I found myself listening and relistening to it. His Christmas album Twelve Twenty-Five scratches that country itch just in time for Santa to come down the chimney.I hope you check some of these out and find a few that brighten your holiday as much as they have brightened mine.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all.


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