Like the warm hearth of the past, The Wexford Carols is a joy to listen to!
For the rest of us who respond to our shared musical genre (especially in terms of holiday tunes), The Wexford Carols is a perfect release. This album is the focus of interest not just among ‘academic’ listeners but also among those who are looking for a solemn musical mood. The are twelve tracks off this album and my personal favorite is the a cappella song The Darkest Midnight In December. This song has a special meaning to me. It is from an unknown author. The original text has around 11 stanzas. Now, those who are unaware since the album’s release last January of this year, The Wexford Carols, is a collection of 17th and 18th century Irish Christmas songs. So that should be interesting!
The rest of the tracks have this common simplicity even when there are instrumentations in the arrangements. Catriona O’Leary has a voice of an earthly angel. She is also backed by talented musicians, singers and technical people including:
Rhiannon Giddens – Voice, Fiddle, Minstrel Banjo
Rosanne Cash – Voice
Tom Jones – Voice
Adrian Hart – Fiddle
Eamonn de Barra – Flute, Whistle
John Smith – Guitar, Mandola
Dónal Lunny – Bouzuki
Kate Ellis – Cello
Greg Cohen – Double Bass
Mel Mercier – Bodhrán, Bones
Graham Hopkins – Drums
Joe Henry, Producer
Ryan Freeland, Recording Engineer, Mix and Master.
The Wexford Carols is a perfect gift to listeners of all genres of music. It is not often when we come across a collection of work that’s well researched and rendered in a passionate manner. This album by the way was mixed in the studio to sound like a live recording. So when you listen to it, it seems like you are listening to an actual live performance in an intimate setting like a cafe or pub.
TRACK LISTING – 61 Minutes
- Tell Shepherds – Caitríona O’Leary, Singer
- An Angel This Night – Caitríona O’Leary, Singer
- Jerusalem Our Happy Home – Tom Jones, Singer, Caitríona O’Leary & Rhiannon Giddens Backing Vocals
- This Is Our Christmass Day – Caitríona O’Leary, Singer
- Now To Conclude Our Christmas Mirth – Rhiannon Giddens, Singer, Tom Jones & Caitríona O’Leary Backing Vocals
- The Darkest Midnight In December – Caitríona O’Leary, Singer
- An Angel This Bright Midnight – Rosanne Cash, Caitríona O’Leary, John Smith, Graham Hopkins Vocals
- Behould Three Kings – Rosanne Cash, Singer, Caitríona O’Leary, John Smith, Graham Hopkins Vocals
- The Angell Said To Joseph Mild – Tom Jones, Singer, Caitríona O’Leary & Rhiannon Giddens, Backing Vocals
- A Virgin Queen In Bethlehem – Caitríona O’Leary, Singer
- Christmas Day Is Come – Rhiannon Giddens & Caitríona O’Leary, Vocals
- The Enniscorthy Christmas Carol – Rosanne Cash, Rhiannon Giddens, Caitríona O’Leary, Tom Jones, Vocals