Reviewed by Gregory Keer
I’m not always keen on holiday music, which makes me a kind of musical Scrooge, I guess. So, this year, I’m getting in the spirit because of some really good choices for the month’s children’s music reviews. One is Renee & Jeremy’s Sunny Christmas, a six-track EP from the fine and mellow duo whose A Little Love cover album brightened last Spring. The harmonizing pair once again put their warm, sometimes atmospheric spin on songs written by others, with a genuine affection for the tunes and the holidays. The title track, which was a seasonal hit last year, stands out amongst such chestnut as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Winter Wonderland.”
Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Judy Pancoast takes Christmas on the road with performances at the home of regular folks around the country for her House on Christmas Street tour. She’s performing songs from her new album, Christmas With Mrs. Claus. Original pieces (such as “Where is Santa Claus?”) mix with storytelling and traditionals.
A couple of special Chanukah songs to light the way come from Billy Jonas, “Let There Be Light”, and Laurie Berkner, “Candle Chase.” The ever-joyful and productive Berkner also has a full-length album, A Laurie Berkner Christmas, which includes a host of wonderfully rendered holiday classics.