Chris Tomlin Live Christmas Album

The Chris Tomlin Live Christmas Album is something different, right? So many Christmas albums are not LIVE. Therefore, having the Chris Tomlin live Christmas album, called “Adore Christmas songs of worship,” is going to connect with a lot of people this Christmas season and ones to come. Want to hear the artist talk about the Chris Tomlin live Christmas album? Right here:

Mercy Me Christmas

GRAMMY® nominated band MercyMe has unveiled dates for their fall “Greater Than Tour,” kicking off this October, as well as MercyMe, It’s Christmas! set to debut on October 9. The album will mark the multi-platinum selling band’s second Christmas release. The announcements were revealed in the midst of celebrating their second No. 1 hit, “Flawless,” (Billboard’s Christian AC Indicator chart) from the best-selling Welcome to the New project (2014).

Hitting a dozen cities this fall, with 27 No. 1 songs under their belt, MercyMe will have plenty to choose from when they bring a night of favorite hits to their audiences, while welcoming award winning artists Phil Wickham, Tim Timmons and speaker John Lynch.

MercyMe has spent much of the summer recording MercyMe, It’s Christmas with producer Brown Bannister at the helm. Their last Christmas album, The Christmas Sessions (2005), was heralded as an instant classic and garnered them a spot on The Tonight Show as well as ABC’s annual Disney Christmas Parade. MercyMe, It’s Christmas! reinterprets classic holiday songs mixed with originals, soaring emotive ballads, fun, up-tempos tracks and original compositions.


Remember Peter Furler from the Newsboys?

Whatever happened to Peter Furler from the Newsboys? He’s still singing…and has a new Christmas record from Prescott Records with Naxos and New Day Distribution. Peter Furler Christmas (Feat. David Ian) is now on iTunes.

Furler and multi-talented jazz instrumentalist and arranger, David Ian, who produced the album, assembled a unique listening experience with the new recording, showcasing vintage sounds of the holiday season from ancient past to present. The unexpected duo set out to create a vintage, classic and meditative album that harkened back to the jazz sounds of Vince Guaraldi and the minimalist era of Miles Davis.

Using singers and musicians from around the world, including from America, Armenia, Lebanon, Russia and South Africa, Furler and Ian also incorporated traditional orchestration as well as exotic instruments like the Duduk (an indigenous Armenian wind instrument) to create an unconventional and introspective Christmas album.

“David and I wanted to create an album that shares the story of Christmas, one that we hope you will enjoy for years to come,” says Furler. “We had in mind for this music to be played while listeners engage in their favorite Christmas traditions, enjoying a warm fire, a quiet dinner party, watching the snow gently fall outside.”

In a time where music listeners are looking for authenticity, Peter Furler Christmas offers not only authentic music and arrangements, but Furler and Ian deliver what could very well become a classic Christmas album.

“With a slight departure from my previous two Christmas releases, I wanted to set this collection apart and create a sound that brings the sacred to light,” adds Ian. “We deliberately wanted to bring new life to Christmas songs that are often overlooked.”

With three of the newly arranged traditional carols, “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear,” “Little Drummer Boy” and “What Child Is This” at radio now, Furler also delivers two spoken word tracks accompanied by Ian’s contemplative piano, string and chamber arrangements. These spoken word tracks include the prophesies of the birth of Christ, as well as the Luke account of the Christmas story. They offer a beautiful reminder of the meaning of Christmas and the narrative for all the tracks on the album.

Ashley Cleveland’s favorite Christmas music

Ashley_ClevelandFrom Ashley Cleveland…

I confess, this is not my favorite question—primarily because I have trouble finding Christmas recordings that I really love. And when I do find something wonderful, I eventually lose it or it drops into discontinued obscurity. I had a combined symphony/chorale recording on a cassette—a bootleg someone had passed on to me that was absolutely magnificent. It wasn’t just the song selection or the musical and vocal arrangements; it was the overall soulfulness of the entire album. I never once listened to it without losing myself–the mark of a truly classic album. So, of course, I lost it. I never knew which symphony it was and I have purchased at least 50 discs trying to find it again. No luck.

Another favorite of mine is an album of original compositions telling the Christmas Story called Precious Child. It was conceived and produced by two wonderful Nashville songwriters: Thom Schuyler and Craig Bickhardt. It was recorded on Warner Brothers in 1993 and featured some of Nashville’s best vocalists: Vince Gill, Maura O’Connell, Dave Loggins and Janis Ian to name a few. I sang on it too as: ‘The Lord’s Messenger’—an undeserved title but one that I promote tirelessly anyway. It is out of print now but can still be found on iTunes, and at Amazon. ReverbNation has a nice marketing layout of it for more information. I keep it on repeat play between Thanksgiving and January–it is the good stuff and Craig Bickhardt’s guitar playing is just ridiculous.

Finally, over the years I have increasingly tended more to Advent than Christmas itself. That, for me is the place of genuine spiritual renewal and preparation for the coming year. To that end I have found a fantastic disc: Advent at Ephesus by the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles. It can be found on Amazon as well. –Ashley Cleveland