Favorite Sounds of the Season

Yes, my avid music blog subscribers, it’s that time once again; time to trim the tree and hang the stockings with care while listening to Yule time tidings of comfort and joy. This holiday season, three particular releases have not only caught my attention, but have found a permanent place amongst my ever-growing Christmas music collection:

1) Josh Rouse: The Holiday Sounds of Josh Rouse – Longtime favorite singer-songwriter Josh Rouse has gifted us with a full-length Christmas record that will delight the senses and warm the cockles of your holiday hearts. Rouse’s Holiday Sounds is a short, but essential set of nine new seasonal selections that are tailor made for group Christmas gatherings as well as cuddling with your significant other.

The laidback opener “Mediterranean X-Mas” is guaranteed to take away the stress of your hustling and bustling while reminding you to slow down and enjoy the reason for the season. Likewise, the luscious “New York Holiday” embraces echoes of Vince Guaraldi’s A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack (coincidentally referenced in the closing track), while concurrently sounding fresh, familiar, and classic. Other key tracks include the forlorn, but upbeat “Heartbreak Holiday,” the picturesque “Sleigh Brother Bill” and the gorgeously referential album closer, “Christmas Songs.”

The Holiday Sounds of Josh Rouse’s first pressing includes three acoustic bonus tracks: “Up on the Housetop,” “Let It Snow” and a cover of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” all of which add the perfect touch for a holiday bonfire singalong.

And speaking of Mariah Carey…

2) Mariah Carey: Merry Christmas Deluxe Anniversary Edition – After already owning the original release, plus the red vinyl LP, I’ll admit I initially deliberated if I needed yet another version, but I ultimately took the plunge and I’m glad I did! Loaded with remixes, bonus tracks, live performances from Mariah’s 1994 John the Divine concert, plus a few newly recorded treats, this 2CD expanded edition of Mariah Carey’s Merry Christmas has never sounded more joyful.

And finally,

3) Jim Reeves: Twelve Songs of Christmas – This country classic was produced by the legendary Chet Atkins, and has finally been beautifully remastered by Vic Anesini at Sony’s Battery Studios. Reeves’ Twelve Songs of Christmas is a sentimental journey back to the days of Nashville’s iconic countrypolitan sound. Also, two seasonal bonus tracks: “Snowflake” and “Scarlet Ribbons” have been added to make this the quintessential version of Jim Reeves’ beloved Christmas album.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.


Dusty Springfield: ‘Faithful’

Dusty faithful

In 1968, the late great Dusty Springfield arrived in Tennessee to record what was to eventually become her career-defining masterpiece, Dusty in Memphis. Upon signing a new record deal with Atlantic Records, Springfield recorded three albums worth of material for the influential label from 1968 – 1971. However, when sales of her first two Atlantic efforts failed to live up to high expectations, Springfield’s third album for the renowned label was shelved and was fated to languish in the vaults for years without seeing a proper release…until now.

Real Gone Music has just released these infamous session tracks as originally intended in a new package titled Dusty Springfield Faithful. This set has been compiled from the original master recordings, initially believed to have been destroyed in a fire twenty years ago. Although tracks from these notorious sessions (produced and fortuitously squirreled away by legendary songwriter/producer Jeff Barry) have been previously released as random bonus tracks over the years, they have never sounded like this. Impeccably remastered by Mike Milchner at SonicVision, these long lost recordings sound better than any previously released digital versions, making this set not only a treasure for Springfield fans, but for true audiophiles alike. Currently, there are no plans to release a digital version of this compilation.

Compiled by reissue producer Jim Pierson , this historic 13-track posthumous release includes liner notes comprised of a new interview with Jeff Barry conducted by Joe Marchese (The Second Disc), as well as several rare photographs shot by Harry Langdon of the legendary singer herself.

Complete Track Listing:

“I’ll Be Faithful”

“Live Here With You”


“Someone Who Cares”

“Make It With You”

“Love Shine Down”

“I Believe In You”

“Have A Good Life Baby”

“Natchez Trace”

“All the King’s Horses”

“You’ve Got a Friend”

“I Found My Way Through the Darkness”

“Nothing Is Forever”