Bob Dylan CHRISTMAS IN THE HEART Review Download

00:02 Download November 29th, -0001

At first, I didn’t know what else to really say except “why Bob why?” Is it because you finally could put “produced by Jack Frost” (Bob’s producer-orial alias) on a winter record? Is it a legacy thing? Is it all about the charity thing? (ALL royalties forever and ever more go to organizations worldwide to feed the homeless). Because the charity thing DOES make it totally worthwhile all by itself.
Is it to keep your fans guessing (the Jewish/Christian question mark)? Or is it just because you love these songs?

Whatever the thought behind it, I was among those laughing yet aghast at first listen. But now I’m actually listening and smiling. Bob’s craggy, pockmarked voice is that of the guy singing so earnestly behind his hymnal at Christmas church services. His Minnesota accented Latin in “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” (Ven-ee-tay-ah-do-ray-moose) is sweetly innocent. And his take on “The Christmas Blues” invokes Leon Redbone and Tom Waits but is perfection as done by Bob.

As usual, Bob has assembled great players. David Hidalgo of Los Lobos is here with Bob again. Phil Upchurch on guitar. One of the delights of this record is hearing a great little mandolin insert. An unexpected pedal steel flourish. And the mixed voice singers cushion many of the songs with that “Fred Waring and The Pennsylvanians” sound. The sweet choral harmonies of the gals alone bring an Andrews Sisters sweetness.

From the Currier and Ives idyllic sleigh ride picture on the front cover, to the 3 Wise Men on the back and Bettie Page Santa-girl on the liner notes, there is something for all in this Christmas collection. The traditional, the religious and the twinkle of an eye are all represented here. I honestly didn’t think I would turn around on this one but thanks to you Bob, I’ve made the pre- to post- visit Scrooge transformation. God Bless Us Everyone!

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