Beginning with the upbeat knee-slapper “I Feel The Christmas Spirit”, the twelve tracks in Indigo Girls’ Holly Happy Days include standards like “Oh, Holy Night”, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” and “Angels We Have Heard On High” along with inspired versions of not so familiar tunes and three original songs that will find their way into one’s holiday rotation.
The original songs crafted by Amy and Emily: “Your Holiday Song,” “Mistletoe” and “The Wonder Song” are the standouts here. The arrangement in “Your Holiday Song” could have almost been a B-side to “The Wood Song” on their 1994 Swamp Ophelia.
Produced by Peter Collins and featuring a world class assembly of musicians, Alison Brown (Banjo), Victor Krauss (Bass), Luke Bulla (Fiddle, Mandolin, Guitar), Jim Brock (Percussion), and Lloyd Miles (Dobro and Pedal Steel), Holly Happy Days is refreshing and captures the essence of the holidays in celebratory, romantic and spiritual glory. And one listen to the banjo-picking, dobro-laced take on Woody Guthrie’s “Happy Joyous Hanukkah”, including vocals from Janis Ian and Mary Gautier, and you realize how this isn’t standard holiday schmaltz.
We are rewarded here with what the Indigo Girls have always done so well: vocals that together are simply gorgeous yet independently are unique, dramatic and heartfelt. With its bluegrass feel and shining voices, Holly Happy Days will be a worthy addition to your holiday collection.