Album Remarks & Appraisals:
"“What the Hell (It’s the Holidays),” written by Wynn Varble and Frank Rogers, is the sort of irreverent Christmas song that, with a little help, could occupy the same place in the holiday consciousness as “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.” The version on “A Farmhouse Christmas,” by the charming married singer-songwriter duo Joey + Rory (Joey Martin and Rory Feek), is a comic tribute to gluttony, over a Bing Crosby-style arrangement: “I’ve been doing great, counting calories and watching weight / That big ol’ honey-baked, it’s calling my name / Pass the butter beans, the biscuits and the gravy, please.” That’s the spirit of this warm and funny album, which skips past traditionals for true-life stories, like the naughty “I Know What Santa’s Getting for Christmas” (written by Garth Brooks and Kent Blazy) and the 1973 Merle Haggard hit “If We Make It Through December,” which details the underbelly of the holidays: “Got laid off down at the factory / And their timing’s not the greatest in the world.” But that Joey + Rory’s intentions are different is clear from this album’s first song, written by Mr. Feek and sung by Ms. Martin, in which she gasps: “Ain’t bought a single thing, oh dear / I’m so far behind.”" -The New York Times
Audio Mixers: Brandon Bell; Gary Paczosa.
Recording information: Minutia; Sound Emporium; Station West.
Photographers: Bryan Allen ; Nick Salter.
This isn't exactly a normal Christmas album, the kind that a lot of artists use to fulfill label contract requirements, for instance, and the husband-and-wife duo Joey + Rory haven't filled it with traditional holiday songs, but opted instead to include several new and original songs in the set, and the covers they've selected aren't exactly the usual Christmas songs either. The result is a charming and quirky holiday album that features the Garth Brooks and Kent Blazy-penned "I Know What Santa's Getting for Christmas," the fun "What the Hell (It's the Holidays)," the playful (and probably truthful in most cases) "Let It Snow (Somewhere Else)," and a wonderful cover of Merle Haggard's timeless "If We Make It Through December," which isn't exactly a holiday song, although it sort of is, and this version features a duet appearance from Haggard himself. Warm and fun, A Farmhouse Christmas is as unassuming as it is a breath of fresh December air. ~ Steve Leggett