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Comfort and Joy

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Album Review

John Cowan can flat out sing, so the fact that he's made a superior Christmas album should not come as a surprise. The only surprise is how well his mandolin/fiddle-heavy bluegrass format fit these seasonal songs. Comfort and Joy is a mixture of familiar classics like "Silent Night," "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," and "The Christmas Song," with a few lesser-known tunes, such as Smokey Robinson's "Everyday Christmas," and an original song, "Little Match Girl," which was written by Cowan's step-daughter, Jenny Anne Mannan, who also sings harmony on the track. Twice Cowan brings the tempo down, allowing his vocals to take center stage on "O Holy Night" and "Ave Maria." The latter demonstrates a stunning display of range and vocal prowess that most classically trained singers would kill for. He also brings in several guest vocalists: Mike Farris, Bonnie Bramlett — of Delaney & Bonnie fame — and her daughter, Bekka Bramlett, for rousing renditions of "Let's Make a Baby King" and "Go Tell It on the Mountain." While Christmas albums are somewhat gimmicky by nature and the genre is flooded with forgettable efforts, Comfort and Joy is not one of them. It is a strong album from start to finish.

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Comfort and Joy, Cowan, John
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: Christmas, Music
  • Released: 13 October 2009

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