From Advent to Epiphany

Classical editor ROBERT HUGILL rounds up the best in Classical Christmas albums for 2016.


STORIES BEHIND THE SONGS: JOHN JACOB NILES's own account of writing 'I Wonder As I Wander,' plus an online discussion of the meaning of 'on'ry' in the first verse.


Baby, It’s Hot in Here!

A vintage pick from 2009: The HOT CLUB OF SAN FRANCISCO in various configurations performing unique and often witty transformations of Yule classics.

‘Deck The Hall’

It's really titled 'DECK THE HALL' (singular) and dates to 16th century Wales. Behold the story behind the song and versions by NAT KING COLE, THE ROCHES, JAMES TAYLOR and MITCH MILLER


The Key Man Claus(e)

On his all-instrumental Yuletide offering, KEYS TO CHRISTMAS, pianist-producer JEFF COLLINS offers seasonal delights with a twist, and engaging thoughtful moments as well.

Christmas Kisses from Glenna, Serena & Leslie

Four outstanding Yuletide performances by four outstanding singer-songwriters: GLENNA BELL, LESLIE COURS MATHER, SERENA MATTHEWS & LISA MILLS. Christmas kisses all around!


‘Tis the Season To Be Rhonda

With four original songs, RHONDA VINCENT keeps Christmas well on her new Yuletide CD, CHRISTMAS TIME, featuring a moving vocal-and-piano 'Christmas Medley'

‘O Holy Night’

Attacked for his opposition to inequality, slavery, injustice and other kinds of oppression, French poet PLACIDE CAPPEAU insinuated his unpopular thoughts into an 1847 poem that became 'O Holy Night'


The Man With All the Toys

BRIAN SETZER and his ORCHESTRA return for his sixth Christmas blowout, ROCKIN' RUDOLPH, which lives up to the warm , virtuosic and rockin' high standard the Stray Cat has set for himself at Yuletide

Ding Dong, Merrily On High, Indeed!

Returned to print by Real Gone Music, THE THREE SUNS' amazing 1959 seasonal effort, A DING DONG DANDY CHRISTMAS, is lounge exotica run amuck, a genuine Yuletide gem.


Christmas Music for All Christmases to Come

Released in 2013 but now gaining traction, THE DEPUE BROTHERS take a batch of largely familiar seasonal gems to new and unexpected places with their exquisite instrumental work and thus create a bonafide Yuletide essential.

The Real Christmas Miracle

JASON RINGENBERG may have taken to farming but he hasn't left his rock 'n' roll years behind him. He's back with a Yuletide gem outfitted with flourishes of punk and straight ahead rock 'n' roll that recalls his glory years fro...