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Light of the Stable

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iTunes Review

With so many Nashville stars crossing over into adult contemporary radio via twang-free Holiday albums, it's refreshing to hear Emmylou Harris keeping Christmas country. Light Of The Stable was recorded in 1979, but her heartfelt hayseed hymns somehow sound simultaneously timeless and relevant. Add to that a rich cornucopia of stellar guests and get ready for the kind of musical gift that just can't be made by toy shop elves. An upbeat take on Tex Logan's "Christmas Time's A-Coming" opens with James Burton's guitar, some melodic banjo and Ricky Skaggs' mandolin all blending to support some of the most beautiful high-lonesome harmonies ever put to tape. The rest of the album abounds with carols penned by a handful of acclaimed country music songwriters as well as more piously themed standards like "O Little Town of Bethlehem," "Away In A Manger" and a gorgeous acapella version of "The First Noel" that boasts heavenly harmonies by Dolly Parton and Kate and Ann McGarrigle. The title track floats with Neil Young and Linda Ronstadt lending vocals, but Rodney Crowell's exquisite "Angel Eyes" is easily the jewel of the album – Willie Nelson singing alongside Emmylou begs for them to bestow us with a duets project.

Customer Reviews


Perhaps the best Christmas album I know. Wistful and heartfelt, the vocals are vintage Emmylou and the musicianship is extraordinary. There is just no better seasonal song than Light of the Stable.

I look forward to playing this all year!

An excellent variety of Christmas songs. Definitely my favorite to play during the holiday season. Some of the gems are "Angel Eyes", "Little Drummer Boy", add of course the title track "Light of the Stable".

One of Emmylou's best -- and that says a lot.

There is no better Christmas album out there.


Born: April 2, 1947 in Birmingham, AL

Genre: Country

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Though other performers sold more records and earned greater fame, few had as profound an impact on contemporary music as Emmylou Harris. Blessed with a crystalline voice, a remarkable gift for phrasing, and a restless creative spirit, she traveled a singular artistic path, proudly carrying the torch of "cosmic American music" passed down by her mentor, Gram Parsons. With the exception of only Neil Young -- not surprisingly an occasional collaborator -- no other mainstream star established a similarly...
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