Home Read ChristMASS 2019: 11 Roots Acts Rootin’

ChristMASS 2019: 11 Roots Acts Rootin’

Keep it grounded with the help of Judy Collins, Josh Rouse, Good Lovelies & more.

If you want your holiday soundtrack to be a little more down to earth, you’re in the right place: You can’t get much more grounded than this roster of folk, bluegrass, jugband, Americana, singer-songwriter and honky-tonk fare, complete with streaming links. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t kick up your heels a little now and then too.

Judy Collins & Jonas Fjeld
Winter Stories

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The gorgeous new holiday album featuring folk legend Judy Collins joined by Norwegian singer-songwriter Jonas Fjeld and North Carolina bluegrass revivalists Chatham County Line! Blending folk, bluegrass, country and traditional music, these three powerhouse musical figures have crafted an unconventional holiday release centering on wintry vignettes rather than carols and hymns yet it carries the spirit of the holidays throughout!”

Josh Rouse
The Holiday Sounds of Josh Rouse

THE PRESS RELEASE:Josh Rouse has recorded an album of original holiday songs, which all feel like a classic 60s jazz-influenced holiday album (think Vince Guaraldi, A Charlie Brown Christmas). This music should appeal to two audiences: Josh Rouse fans and holiday music fans. The First Edition release,on red vinyl, includes a bonus 12” featuring 3 Christmas classics performed acoustically + 3 demo versions of songs from the album.”

Good Lovelies

THE PRESS RELEASE: “It’s been 10 years, and 10 Christmas tours since we released our album Under The Mistletoe. In celebration, we decided to capture many of the songs we have been performing over the past 10 years on this new album, Evergreen. The new album features three originals, including These Christmas Nights, and an amazing collection of their favourites such as O Holy Night, Please Come Home For Christmas, and The Beach Boys classic Little Saint Nick.”

Saw Black & The Toys
Christmas In The Background

THE PRESS RELEASE: “With its mix of original songs and abbreviated carols, Saw Black & the ToysChristmas in the Background returns a sense of magic, mirth, and old-fashioned melancholy to the holidays. It’s an off-kilter Christmas album — the sort of thing you’d only play for your visiting relatives after they’d finished a few cups of spiked egg-nog and could appreciate the weird, wonderful world that songwriter/ringleader Saw Black and his collaborators have cooked up. From lo-fi, rootsy songs that recall Neil Young’s Harvest to nostalgic arrangements that nod to classic Christmastime recordings by The Beach Boys, Chuck Berry, and Brenda Lee, Christmas in the Background mixes genuine songcraft with a slightly irreverent approach, never taking itself too seriously but never missing a chance to deliver the goods, either.”

Christmas Jug Band
Live From The West Pole

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The wild animal in its natural habitat! Live recording from December of 2018 in the Village where it all began: Mill Valley, Calif., deep in the snow drifts of the West Pole. The kings of 100% acoustic folk-skiffle-swing holiday highjinks deliver their first album of all new material since 2009 continuing their penchant for original holiday raucous jugbandizations and parodies of unlikely classics. In case you don’t know them, The Christmas Jug Band are stalwart purveyors of the jugabilly mystique! A tongue-in-cheek seasonal convergence of San Francisco Bay Area luminaries. This is an album full of Holiday, Jug Band, Skiffle, Blues, Novelty, Humor, R&B, Cajun/Zydeco & Jazz elements.”

Kate Rusby
Holly Head

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Obsession can lead an individual down many different paths, but in 2019, it has drawn Kate Rusby to her fifth festive long-playing offering. It’s one of the warmest Christmas albums you’ll ever encounter. Winter is supposed to be the season of barrenness, of Jack Frost nipping at your nose and of needing your big coat. It may get dark at four o’clock but Holly Head will illuminate and kindle hearts and hearths.”

Molly Burch
The Molly Burch Christmas Album

THE PRESS RELEASE: “On this collection of holiday songs, Austin chanteuse Molly Burch does Christmas with a twist. Quite an omnibus, the album features classics like I’ll Be Home for Christmas and Auld Lang Syne alongside heartland hits like Hard Candy Christmas and Snowqueen of Texas. “This is the most fun I’ve had making a record yet,” Burch says. And you can hear that joy on tracks like ABBA’s Happy New Year as well as a playful cover of Wham’s Last Christmas. “I hope it’s a Christmas album for people who love Christmas music and people who don’t love Christmas music. May these songs welcome in a fresh new year and many warm, happy nights.”

Scott Miller
Mountain Frontier Christmas

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Combining the emotional honesty and intelligence of a singer/songwriter with the swagger and enthusiasm of a rock & roller, Scott Miller first made a name for himself as guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter with the superb pop/rock band The V-Roys before establishing himself as a gifted and eclectic solo artist, first with his ad hoc group the Commonwealth and later on his own. Mountain Frontier Christmas is a holiday collection representing the spirit, adventure, and beauty of the mountain frontier featuring hammered dulcimer.”

Kristine St-Pierre & Justin Lacroix
Noel Avec Toi

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Enjoy the magic of the holiday season and let yourself be charmed by the beauty of the texts and harmonies of two accomplished French Canadian artists. With Noel Avec Toi (Christmas With You), Kristine St-Pierre (Ottawa) and Justin Lacroix (Winnipeg) propose nine original songs in a folk-country style with a dash of jazz and rock & roll! The album also features a French translation of the English song It Snowed, written and released by Juno Award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter Meaghan Smith.”

Lateral Blue
This Christmas: A Progressive Bluegrass Holiday Collection

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Good bands write and record good, creative music. What listeners have quickly found is that Lateral Blue is more than your average “good band.” They adapt to what they are given, providing the listener a constant companion in the most intimate morning commutes and the liveliest evening concerts. They prove that in some of the strangest social climates, music can still be a safe escape route into our own imagination. Progressive bluegrass quartet Lateral Blue offers this charming collection of traditional Christmas favorites. This intimate collection showcases the talents of members Caleb, Laura, Kyle, and Kori, each representing the bluegrass traditions of their home state’s musical heritage.”

Silent Winters
Christmas Morning

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Ottawa’s Silent Winters (Olenka Bastian and Jonathan Chandler), known for folk-inspired vocal harmonies, wrap-up nine sparkling holiday hits, along with the gift of a new song, to cherish this Christmas morning. Classics include White Christmas, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, Winter Wonderland and Happy Holiday. Baby, It’s Cold Outside sees the power roles reversed from male to female, while their goosebump inducing versions of I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, Oh Holy Night and Jolly Old St. Nicholas are delightful and surprising additions. Their own song, Christmas Morning, complements the spirit of the season. Put another log on the fire, and feel the warmth emanated from this CFMA nominated duo.”