Christmas Carols Go Unplugged

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MUSIC NOTES

A Very Special Acoustic Christmas Lost Highway/Universal

THE "VERY SPECIAL CHRISTMAS album series is some 15 years old now. Six albums later, the projects have raised more than $60 million for the Special Olympics.

Look for that total to rise substantially with the release of A Very Special Acoustic Christmas. The concept is a stroke of genius demographically and stylistically. The treatments are all acoustic and most fit within a country spectrum, which will appeal to a 30s and upwards demographic. This is a first for the series, which has stuck to the contemporary pop and rock formats for previous releases.

There is a nice balance between pop country and traditional country on the album, and the artists represent three generations of music makers.

Traditional Christmas carols are included, featuring veteran stars and acoustic arrangements. They include Silent Night by Reba McEntire, O Holy Night by Wynonna Judd, O Come All Ye Faithful by Patty Loveless, and Away In A Manger by Ricky Skaggs. They are balanced by secular 20th century pieces like Frosty The Snowman by Dan Tyminski, Please Come Home For Christmas by Willie Nelson, Winter Wonderland by Pat Green and I'll Be Home For Christmas by Tift Merritt.

The roots country end of things is represented by some Free-picking instrumentals like Jingle Bells by Earl Scruggs and Let It Snow! …