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The Christmas Concert

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Album Review

Of all the CD equivalents of Stuart McLean's CBC Vinyl Cafe monologues, this is the least essential, and the least typical. For only a little less than half of this 69-minute disc is actually devoted to the stories of Dave and his family that comprise almost all of the Vinyl Cafe programming. The rest of the album is not comprised of spoken word monologues, but of Christmas music and McLean's brief spoken links between musical selections, recorded on December 13, 1996 for the CBC in Toronto. While the folky instrumental and vocal renditions of holiday standards are eclectic and pleasant, that isn't necessarily what people want from an album document of a McLean broadcast, particularly people who aren't able to tune in to the CBC for his regular programs. As for the two stories with McLean's usual characters that are here — the ten-minute "Dave on the Roof" and the 22-minute "Dave Cooks a Turkey" — they're up to the host's usual standards of funny, wise stories centered around benign mishaps, both of these taking place during the Christmas season. Incidentally, "Dave on the Roof" was dropped from the original show because of time constraints, so even if you caught the original broadcast, it's something you might not have heard before.

Customer Reviews

Stuart Maclean The Christmas Concert

Like being in a country community hall with family and friends enjoying the best of Christmas. Fine Canadian performers sent me off in search of other great Christmas performances by Canadians (Dave Gunning, Matt Andersen, Ennis Sisters, Barra Macneils, Kate and Anna MacGarrigle).


Genre: Humour

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Stuart McLean is the host of the Vinyl Cafe on CBC Radio, in which he performs humorous story-monologues about the Toronto family of Dave, who runs the Vinyl Cafe record store; his wife, Morley; their teenage daughter, Stephanie; and their younger son, Sam. Often involving mishaps based around well-intentioned deeds and ideas that don't work out quite as intended, McLean delivers the stories in a droll, inviting manner that's both satirical and affectionate. He's written three short-story collections...
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The Christmas Concert, Stuart McLean
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