Squawk Radio

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Liz Says, Have an Acoustic Christmas!

Originally uploaded by EliBev.
Ottmar Liebert has released a couple more Christmas-themed CDs since "Poets & Angels" arrived on the scene in '91, but this one remains my fave by him. It's also one of the first Christmas collections I purchased in what would become a holiday tradition around our house--the amassing of holiday music. AND it's pretty much always the first one that gets played when we drag the box of Christmas CDs upstairs prior to the hauling up of the tree ornaments and house decorations and such. So OF COURSE I have to do a Sunday music blog about it.

My brother and sister-in-law actually turned me on to Ottmar, a flamenco guitarist who has released some truly stunning albums. With "Poets & Angels," he gives the acoustic treatment to such traditional carols as "We Three Kings" and "Away in a Manger," along with more secular carols like "Jingle Bells" and "Deck the Halls." But he also introduces five original tunes, some of which he couples with the traditional numbers, not the least of which is the pairing of "Angels We Have Heard on High" with "High on Hope."

The result is an extremely beautiful feast of acoustic guitar and soft percussion, with gentle bass and keyboard thrown in. I like to listen to it when doing the last-minute shopping, because it keeps me mellow among frantic buyers and drivers, but I also like it for decorating the tree. And although we're not big entertainers during the holidays (though we do love being entertained), this would certainly be on my list of CDs to play at any gathering of friends or family.

All in all, it just makes for a very mellow holiday. And who couldn't use one of those? Happy Christmas, everybody!
Elizabeth Bevarly, 11:56 AM