CIRCA BLUE

CIRCA-BLUE-CHRISTMASCIRCA BLUE
BELLS OF HOME: A CIRCA BLUE CHRISTMAS

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Unfortunately, this project was received late last year and we were unable to give it a review until now. Circa Blue is based in Martinsburg, W.Va., and includes Steve Harris (guitar), Matt Hickman (banjo), Malia Furtado (fiddle), Ashley Stewart (bass), and Ryan Mullins (mandolin, percussion), with guest Dawn Kenney (guitar). Kenney also co-wrote four of the selections. Familiar Christmas songs include “Away In A Manger,” “We Three Kings,” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” Seasonal songs include “Snowflake Or Two,” “In The Bleak Mid-Winter,” “Spirit Of Christmas,” and “Christmas In The Keys.” Kenney’s co-written songs include “Candy Cane Sweetheart,” the title “Bells Of Home,” “Happy Birthday Jesus,” and the aforementioned “Christmas In The Keys.”

Lead vocals are shared between Kenney and Harris with lovely harmonies from the others. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” is a really nice instrumental treatment featuring Mullins’ mandolin and Furtado’s fiddle. Furtado’s fine fiddle playing is also heard on many of the other selections. The final cut is a wonderful a cappella tribute, “Happy Birthday Jesus.” This is a really nice project from Circa Blue, hopefully to be included in the seasonal celebrations of 2017. (www.circa-blue.com)BF

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