This is from another of my favorite Christmas albums, by an artist I like very much but who isn't that well-known, Butch Thompson. For quite a few years, early in its run Butch Thompson was the music director of A Prairie Home Companion, and one of his trademarks was playing in a Dixieland in what's known as "stride" style.
This is from a recording of Christmas songs done in that stride style, called, Yulestride.
Last year I posted here my favorite cut on the album, "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear." What I wrote at the time was that what I most like about the recording is its freshness. It's a tricky thing with Christmas recordings. Most are just pretty straight-forward arrangements that are familiar and comfortable. Stray too far off that path, and you risk the artistic sin of drawing attention to yourself and away from the work. The "I'm being different for the sake of being different" syndrome. The new arrangements aren't inherently valid for the music, but just because the artist didn't want to be The Same. I find these arrangements by Butch Thompson, though, to be vibrant and thoroughly joyful interpretations of the familiar, that bring out different sides to the music.
Here's another cut from the album. This is "God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen."
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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