World-renowned Bluegrass quintet BALSAM RANGEmakes magic with their newest EP, IT’S CHRISTMAS TIME. The six-track outing spreads seasonal joy with a mix of contemporary and traditional tunes and features the beloved band in an unusual pairing with the Nashville Recording Orchestra. Radio can ensure that IT’S CHRISTMAS TIME makes their holiday playlist by downloading from AirPlay Direct. Fans can listen to a live stream now on Bluegrass Today, or purchase as the perfect Christmas giftHERE.
For those who might consider the joining of Bluegrass and orchestral music an odd mix – you are not alone. Respected tastemaker David Allan of Britain’s Country Music People magazine notes, “I thought I would hate it – the very idea of Bluegrass and strings, not to mention a sax, BUT it works … creating a rich, sentimental and wonderful, magical Christmassy feeling … definitely a winner.”
This is the band’s first Christmas release. “We loved the idea, and we were intrigued by the musical possibilities that this project would open up to us,” Balsam Range spokesman Tim Surrett reflects. “We had to take a bit of a different approach to make it work, but I think the result was worth the effort.”
Early reviewers agree:
“Here’s a sweet Bluegrass, Christmas EP that takes some chances that work well among the tried and true. They know their stuff and how to play it right.”
– Midwest Record Entertainment
“Balsam Range is superb on this holiday collection. All six tracks are refreshing and unique.”
– Markos Papadatos, Digital Journal
“Will certainly spread joy for listeners through the holidays this year and for many to come.”
– Herbert Arnold, Wheel Country Music Magazine (Germany)
“The songs are appealing in every way. They are performed with heart, each one as a shared moment … the disc has an inviting, shimmering quality …” – Greg Victor, ParcBench
To celebrate the EP’s release, Balsam Range will host the Atlanta Pops Orchestra to perform these holiday tunes during the closing show of the group’s second annual Balsam Range Art of Music Festival at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina (December 1 and 2). Additional entertainers, including Flatt Lonesome and Darrell Scott will perform during the event, which also features various workshops. Select tickets are still available and much more information can be found on the Festival’s website.
These native Western North Carolinians have created a beautiful collection for holiday music lovers. Buddy Melton (fiddle, lead and tenor vocals), Darren Nicholson (mandolin, octave mandolin, lead vocals, baritone and low tenor vocals), Dr. Marc Pruett (banjo), Tim Surrett (bass, dobro, baritone and lead vocals) and Caleb Smith (guitar, lead & baritone vocals) produced and recorded the project at Crossroads Studios in Asheville, North Carolina for Mountain Home Music Company. Cody McVey wrote the arrangements for the Nashville Recording Orchestra and Bobby Shin recorded the orchestra at the Library Studios in Nashville. The cover art is a reproduction of a stunning, colored pencil drawing, entitled Cold Mountain, by Haywood County, North Carolina’s Teresa Pennington.
It’s Christmas Time Track Listing:
The First Noel
Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree
I’m Going Home, It’s Christmas Time
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Jingle Bells (instrumental)