Mudcat Café message #1899043 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #42076   Message #1899043
Posted By: Desert Dancer
03-Dec-06 - 03:34 PM
Thread Name: Help: Christmas Album
Subject: RE: Help: Christmas Album
Refreshing for another year...

This closed (why?) thread, BS: What's your favorite Xmas album/CD? Why? has more suggestions, although not exclusively folk.

In addition to adding my support for

Nowell Sing We Clear's series of albums (available through Golden Hind Music or Folk Legacy)

and "Kentucky Christmas Old and New" from the Jean Ritchie family and friends (Greenhays Recordings, GR70717),

I don't see any mention of these that are also in my collection (with an obvious American & English bias):

"American Folk Songs for Christmas," a 2-cd set with songs from the famous Ruth Crawford Seeger book of the same name, performed by Mike, Peggy, and Penny Seeger and members of their families (including Ewan MacColl). It's Rounder Records CD 0268/0269, 1989

"Sing Christmas and the Turn of the Year, the live Christmas Day 1957 broadcast on BBC Radio," put out by Rounder as part of the Alan Lomax Collection, in the Concert and Radio Series in 2000 (Rounder CD1850)

Finest Kind's "Feasts & Spirits, A Christmas Entertainment," intersperses songs with exerpts from Dickens's "A Christmas Carol", read by John D. Huston (Fallen Angle FAM 07)

John Kirkpatrick & Folkwork's "Wassail! A Traditional Celebration of and English Midwinter" is lots of fun - traditionally-based folk with a great contemporary energy. It's Fellside FECD125 from , although I don't find it on their web site. Googling produces lots of sources for a purchase, though.

The New Scorpion Band's Christmas album is "The Carnal and the Crane." A lovely 19th century village feel. (NSB Records)

The Watersons "Frost and Fire, A Calendar of Ritual and Magical Songs", though not strictly Christmas, is a classic. Topic made a CD from the LPs "Frost and Fire" and "Sound, Sound Your Instruments of Joy". (Topic TSCD136)

Also not strictly Christmas is Fellside's has compilation "Seasons, Ceremonies & Rituals, the Calendar in Traditional Song" with various artists (FTSR5)

And, folk (?) in an "early music" interpretation includes Early Music New York's "A Colonial Christmas", with tunes from The Dancing Master, and songs from the Southern Harmony. Ex cathedra Records 70070-29006-2. (Of course, if you go the "not too early" music route, there's plenty more to be found.)


In composing the above, I came upon "Songs of Christmas from the Alan Lomax Collection", from Rounder (CDROUN1719, 1998).

The latest issue of EDS (EFDSS's mag) reviewed a couple that looked interesting:

Waterson:Carthy, with The Devil's Interval, "Holy Heathens and the Old Green Man" from Topic (TSCD562), and

John Kirkpatrick, "Carolling & Crumpets" from Fledg'ling Records (FLED3060).

~ Becky in Tucson