By: Tony Manfetano
What comes to mind when I say Americana. Trains. Guitars. Farms, factories and cotton gins. All that, sure. Maybe you think on more 21st century terms. Government, civil rights and pop culture. These images clicked through my mind’s Viewfinder as a cursory response too. Americana, at least in the spirit imbued on me, is about real life. The elating and the despondent. It braids the struggles of earning a living, the vicissitudes of love, tradition, boozin’, losin’, smokin’ and jokin’ with eclectic instruments and candid voices. (And you kids can Google what a Viewfinder is later).
Given the aforementioned attributes it makes perfect sense that Americana music would lend itself to the holiday season. That, my pickers and grinners, is why New West Records has compiled some of our favorite roots Christmas song recordings on “An Americana Christmas”. You might know these guys if you’re a fan of, oh I don’t know, Steve Earle, Kris Kristofferson or the Old 97’s amongst much more.
This newly released album starts off with an instrumental “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”, by Luther Dickinson. Americana legend John Prine performs “Everything Is Cool”, while Emmylou Harris hits us with a little, “The First Noel”. I was already won over when I saw they included “The Gifts They Gave”, from the classic Johnny Cash Christmas record. Cash’s mollifying voice dovetails seamlessly into the spirit of loving solace the biting reality that today’s music sometimes neglects.
New West recording artist Corb Lund brings it home hearkening our hearts to those times we couldn’t be with the ones we wanted to in, “Just Me And These Ponies(For Christmas This Year)”. Dwight Yoakam’s rendition of “Run Run Rudolph” reminds us with Bakersfield guitars and bar stomping zeal that tis truly the season for giving. Giving the girls something to get out on the floor and shake their gift getter to, that is. Even Bob Dylan gets a piece of the pumpkin pie along with Nikki Lane and The Band rounding the album out. But not before the Old 97’s swing some lyrical candor right into that egg noggin of yours. (Are you ready for some holiday pun?)
“An Americana Christmas”, features six original tracks exclusive only to this collection from Americana Music Chart toppers and AMA award winners. A must have for any country or folk lover and we here at CountryMusicPride.com want to give you a copy au gratis. Just go to and “Like” the Country Music Pride Facebook page. Then leave a comment with your favorite non-traditional Christmas song. The first person to suggest one we have never heard gets “An Americana Christmas”.
We dare you to find one not on our list. And, oh yeah, we’re checking it twice.