Susan's Breath of Heaven

Bruce Von Stiers

Susan Holloway was classically trained on the violin. She even toured with a youth orchestra. But growing up in Memphis gave Susan quite a musical education beyond classical music. So much so that she expanded her repertoire to include rock, jazz and other music genres.

As holiday albums are one thing that both emerging and known artists sometimes record, it made sense for Susan to do one of her own. That album is titled Breath of Heaven.

The album was produced by Bobby Blazier. It was recorded at the iconic Ronny's Place Studio. The engineering and mixing was done by Jeremy Hunter, whose previous work includes albums by Jewel and All Star United. The album has seven songs and lasts twenty-six minutes.

Chris Rodriguez has performed with and recorded with a who's who of noted artists, besides a solo career. He does the guitar music on the album. DeMarco Johnson has played on albums by Joe Cocker and Michael McDonald. He plays keyboards on this album for Susan. David La Bruyere is best known for his bass playing for John Mayer. He brings his bass playing talents to this album. I mentioned Bobby Blazier earlier. He has recorded with Steve Camp and Phil Keaggy. Bobby lends his talents on drums and percussion to this album. Susan performed all of the violin music on the album.

Carol of the Bells has a cool, almost rock anthem tone to it. It is pretty cool. There is a lot of slick bass in the song and fantastic violin and guitar.

Tennessee Christmas has been done by bands such as Alabama and vocalists such as Amy Grant. But I've rarely heard it as strictly an instrumental. Susan does an excellent job on her instrumental rendition of the song.

Susan then does a slightly unusual rendition of We Three Kings. At times the song sounds orchestral, other times it has a sliver of country, especially in the guitar styling.

Breath of Heaven is a beautiful song. Susan takes the song and adds an extra layer of endearment with her violin.

Once again moving things beyond tradition, Susan gives an almost light rock ballad atmosphere to What Child Is This.

I love Nat King Cole's rendition of The Christmas Song. And just as he and other vocalists have recorded the song, so have instrumentalists. Susan and her fellow musicians provide a terrific instrumental rendition of the song. There is a great guitar solo in the song along with endearing violin.

Elvis Presley's rendition of Blue Christmas is probably the most famous one. Susan treats the listener to a pretty decent instrumental rendition. Her violin in front great guitar and keyboards make this a great way to conclude the album.

Breath of Heaven is an excellent holiday album. Susan Holloway is a fantastic violinist and the musicians who played with her did an outstanding job.

You can grab a copy of Breath of Heaven at selected music retailers.

To find out more about Susan Holloway, visit

Susan also has a Facebook fan page at


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© 2017 Bruce E Von Stiers