Personnel: Bryan Sutton (acoustic guitar); J.T. Corenflos , Brent Mason (electric guitar); David Davidson , David Angell (violin); Aubrey Haynie (fiddle); Kris Wilkinson (viola); Anthony LaMarchina (cello); Sam Levine (flute, clarinet); Jim Hoke (bass clarinet, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone); Lauri Ann Ross (oboe, English horn); Steve Herrmann (trumpet); Gordon Mote (piano, Hammond b-3 organ); Jim "Moose" Brown (piano); Jerry Roe, Shannon Forrest (drums); Eric Darken (percussion); Wes Hightower, Russell Terrell, Liana Manis (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Justin Niebank.
Recording information: Charleston Sound, Charleston, SC; The Castle, Franklin, TN; The Pool House, Nashville, TN.
Photographer: Travis Dew.
Arranger: Kris Wilkinson.
Darius Rucker leaves his newly adopted country home behind for a bit of uptown swinging swagger on 2014's Home for the Holidays. This 12-track collection of standards -- apart from "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" and "O Come, All Ye Faithful," they're all secular; apart from the nondescript original "What God Wants for Christmas," they're all well-known -- is all delivered in the mock-Sinatra style that has come to suggest Christmas in popular culture. The production is clean and unfussy, sparkling just enough to suggest new-fallen snow but not enough to be tacky, and Rucker is amiable, perhaps a bit too digitally polished but possessing enough good charm to keep things moving at a nice clip. Consequently, Home for the Holidays winds up as a perfectly fine Christmas record, suited for those Rucker fans who have stuck with him from Hootie to R&B to country. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine