(Are you tired of listening to children’s music that makes you want to bang your head against a wall? Check out some of our favorite albums Favorite Folk Albums for Family Listening, Another Great Folk Album for Families and Two Favorite Folk Singers.)
If you’ve followed along here at Yankee Homestead for very long, you won’t be surprised to hear the name of the artist behind our newest favorite Christmas album: The Sounding Joy: Christmas Songs In & Out Of The Ruth Crawford Seeger Songbook.
Elizabeth Mitchell, along with her husband Dan and daughter Storey, is one of our very favorite folk singers. Imagine our delight to discover their newly released Christmas album, based largely on the songs from Ruth Crawford Seeger’s American Folk Songs for Christmas. The album features Peggy Seeger, Ruth’s daughter, singing two of her mother’s songs, along with Dan Zanes, Natalie Merchant and many other talented musicians.
This album bears no mention of Santa Claus, his reindeer, or snowmen who come to life. Instead, the songs come directly from “homespun traditions that existed in times before the commercialization of Christmas.”* Some are slow and tender, while others will make you want to jump up and dance and hoot and holler. The instruments are delightful, mixing the sounds of fiddles, harmonicas, hand-clapping and washboards, along with the more conventional guitar, piano, violin, flute and more. It’s not listed in the CD insert, but we swear we can even hear Dan Zanes‘ jaw harp on the up tempo Sing-a-Lamb.
*From the album’s description on Amazon.
May your Christmas be filled with the sounds of joy!