Now, I have to admit that I have never enjoyed Christmas carols and festive songs - call me Scrooge if you will, but the usual sanctimonious and ponderous versions that are the standard performances of these songs leave me nauseous and unmoved. However, someone has looked at these songs again and found an original way of presenting them in a simple and unadorned fashion, sloughing off the overdone sanctity and rediscovering the musical gems within.
Yes, the latest album by guitar wizard John Morgan is a collection of seasonal yuletide carols and other songs all performed as instrumentals. But thanks to Johns' nimble fingers and musical good taste, all the old hackneyed tunes have been revitalized to the point where they have been remodeled for the next millennia. So, with eleven tracks on the CD you can now enjoy anew We Three Kings, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Jingle Bells/Good King Wencelas, Joy To The World, Deck The Halls, Silent Night, O Come O Come Emmanuelle, Tinsel, What Child Is This? and We Wish You A Merry Christmas.
If you've not discovered John Morgan's previous albums then you are missing out on a rather unique mix of folk style finger picking mixed with a little blues and country colouring. Think John Renbourn and Bert Jansch but with a little more swing and lilt to the playing. On the technical side of things, this is a beautifully recorded album, the guitar is crystal clear and sounds as if it is in the room with you - and having just bought a new hi-fi this album was a good test of the speakers clarity. Highly Recommended!
If you live in the UK [as I do] then trying to get a copy of any of the above albums will require some effort on your part and you'll have to visit http://www.morganguitar.com to order them - or email John at firstname.lastname@example.org for pricing information. Whatever, make the effort as these albums are well worth the wait by the letter box... (John Peters, The Borderland, http://www.the-borderland.co.uk/ )