Album Remarks & Appraisals:
A perfect musical delight for Christmastime! These beautiful, lilting Christmas melodies take you right to the heartland with Mark O'Connor and an all-star cast of music greats. Featuring collaborations with Renee Fleming, Sharon Isbin, Alison Krauss, Yo-Yo Ma, Jane Monheit, James Taylor, Chris Thile, Steve Wariner and more, An Appalachian Christmas features rare tracks available for the first time in years as well as new recordings.
"This album gathers recordings of Christmas songs made since the 1980s by the violinist Mark O’Connor. His approach straddles mountain fiddling, Hot Club jazz and the approachable classical realm of Edgar Meyer and Yo-Yo Ma, who join him to accompany Alison Krauss in a quietly glowing lullaby, “Slumber My Darling.” The collection is a hodgepodge, with Mr. O’Connor as featured sideman (for James Taylor, Renée Fleming, Jane Monheit and Steve Wariner), string-band leader, orchestral arranger and overdubbed one-man studio band. His violin is always elegant, but the arrangements are uneven; he’s best with small, uncluttered acoustic groups." -The New York Times
There's nothing particularly Appalachian about this set, other than the cover, really, but it is a graceful and balanced holiday album featuring Mark O'Connor's brilliant fiddle playing on several Christmas classics, along with friends and guests Renée Fleming, Alison Krauss, James Taylor, Steve Wariner, Jane Monheit, Yo-Yo Ma, Sharon Isbin, Chris Thile, Edgar Meyer, and others. ~ Steve Leggett
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- America on Strings (Grogan, Jeffrey)