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Music Review: Various Artists – Putumayo’s Celtic Christmas

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Putumayo’s Celtic Christmas is the second holiday themed CD I get to review. I was already familiar with the Putumayo label as we already have Putumayo’s African Playground in my daughter’s CD collection. Since we are very fond of the Playground CD, I jumped at the chance to review their holiday album.

Putumayo is an amazingly eclectic record label, with music from around the world for all ages. The label is a perfect match for an expat family such as ours, and a great find for everyone who is interested in different cultures and music from around the globe. Find out more about the label on putumayo.com.

The album features 11 songs from many different groups and artists, coming from Ireland, Scotland, England, Canada and the US: The Gothard Sisters, Druidstone, Dougie MacLean, only to name a few. The greater part of the instrumentation is made up of traditional musical instruments like the harp and the fiddle.

Most of the songs are familiar to me (“Here We Come A-Wassailing,” “Little Drummer Girl,” “Joy to the World”) all beautifully covered, often in a very inspiring, original fashion. The album also features a variety of songs which are  new to me and quite refreshing. For example “Noel Nouvelet” is probably my favorite track on the album with its eerie magical sound. The album would make a great soundtrack for a period series or movie.

At times upbeat and jolly, at times soft and contemplative, this is holiday music in its truest form. I really like the variation of vocal and instrumental songs, as holiday tunes are generally intended as ambient music. None of the songs are overly dominant, and the overall feel of the album is very relaxed.

Putumayo’s Celtic Christmas is recommended for all those who like original, authentic music to cheer up their holidays.

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About Laura Schuerwegen