While touring the northwest a few years ago, we discovered the little Bavarian town of Leavenworth, WA. The seasons in that part of the country are beautiful, especially fall. But if you’re there in December, you’ll find beneath a mantel of white, the most enchanting shops and cafes, all surrounded by snow capped mountains.
It was there we found a Christmas store that was like walking through a festival of lights. The halls were lined with well-ornamented trees that were amazing to photograph, and may have inspired “Festival of Carols”. A few months later the project was finished, and the front cover ended up being one of the pictures we took that day.
“Carol of the Bells” is like a celebration, especially when Ben uses a setting on his Mallet Kat called “Mannheim Bells”. They’re so resonate they actually make you feel festive.
Some of the songs are acoustic driven with the tinkling sounds of Christmas blended in. “Joy to the World” is a good example of that delicate, organic sound.
New life is breathed into “Little Drummer Boy” with an arrangement sounding like the Wild West meets the “Gypsy Kings”.
But the most requested song of all is “Mary Did You Know?” We originally recorded this arrangement for an Opera singer in Wales, but added it to our own repertoire and have been playing it ever since.