Katy's Endearing Christmas Hymns
Bruce Von Stiers
I've been fortunate to have known Katy Kinard for several years. I first met Katy when she performed at a coffee house. Not only was she engaging, her music and vocals were excellent. Since that meeting I've had the opportunity to review a few albums that Kay has recorded. One of those was an album with lullaby hymns.
This year finds Katy with a new album of hymns. This time, Katy has chosen to record her own renditions of several classic Christmas hymns. The title of this new recording is Lullaby Hymns: Christmas.
The album has eleven songs and a play time of forty-four minutes. It was produced by Shuffle Brothers Music and recorded at the Shuffle Brothers Studio.
Katy had some pretty talented artists performing on the album with her. Josee Weigand plays with the Jackson Symphony and is a member of La Vie Quartet, a leading string quartet in the Nashville area. Josee plays the violin on this album. There is a huge list of major artists whom Chris West has performed with. He provides the flute and clarinet music for the album. Jason Eskridge has done backing vocals for Lyle Lovett and Randy Travis and opened for Johnny Lang and Aaron Neville. Jason does some backing vocals here for Katy. Vocalist / songwriter Erika Chambers also provides backing vocals on the album. Gabe Klein and Gideon Klein are brothers and the force behind Shuffle Brothers Music and Shuffle Brothers Studio. On this album, Gabe plays piano and does percussion. He also did some of the technical stuff like engineering, mixing and producing. He lent his voice for some backing vocals as well. Gideon did some programming and producing on the album along with providing backing vocals, playing the guitar, bass, cello, violin and viola.
The first selection of the album is Coventry Carol (Lullaby). Katy's vocal are wonderful here, with an echoing that would make you think of her singing in a cathedral setting.
One of my favorite Christmas hymns is O Come O Come Emanuel. Nice guitar, orchestral styled music and mellow backing vocals provide a nice backdrop for silky vocals by Katy on her rendition of the song.
Human For Me was on Katy's album God of Fireflies. She reprises the song here. It is a beautiful song about the birth of Jesus and how, as the son of God, he could have had an easy life. Yet he chose to live a human life. It is a song that tugs at my heart each time I hear it.
The First Noel / Silent Night has some fantastic guitar and piano in a mostly instrumental rendition of these classic tunes.
Soft and gentle are Katy's vocals on What Child Is This.
Once In Royal David's City is often done in a cathedral setting with a lead vocalist and choral choir support. Katy's approach has a more modern, contemporary tone. There is some very nice guitar and fluid harmonizing vocals.
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen opens with Katy and the other vocalists in sort of a round. Then Katy takes the lead with nice backing vocals. The last part of the song is a wonderful instrumental.
Katy provides a more contemporary styling to Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming.
Some nice guitar backs Katy's soft and mellow vocals on O Come All Ye Faithful.
Gentle and tender vocals can be heard on In The Bleak Midwinter. There is some terrific piano in the song as well.
Katy closes the album with Still, Still, Still. She lists it as her favorite of the songs on the album. It is a beautiful song that features some great backing vocals.
Each year there are many new Christmas albums recorded. Some are good, others are even better. This new Christmas hymn album from Katy is one of the best I've ever heard. Not only are each of the songs endearing, the musicians and vocalists on the album provide an excellent backdrop for Katy's wonderful vocals.
Lullaby Hymns: Christmas is now available. It can be found at major streaming services and the CD is for sale directly from Katy at www.katykinard.com/christmas . The cost for the CD is only $10 and free shipping is included.Katy has provided samples of songs from the album at the link listed above. And there is additional information about Katy and her music on other areas of Katy's web site.
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© 2020 Bruce E Von Stiers