Friday, October 25, 2013

Rudolph Day: Ken Kessler from the Sounds of Christmas shares this season's new holiday music

Thanks so much for inviting me to your blog, Michelle!

I am very excited about the upcoming season for the Sounds of Christmas (which starts next week)!

There is so much terrific new music this year, and I hope I don’t miss anything!

Fans of Mannheim Steamroller will be happy to hear that they are back this year, with a follow-up to 2011’s”Christmas Symphony”. For “Christmas Symphony II” they are once again joined by members of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra for a delightful new collection. The first track, a new version of “Carol of The Bells”, immediately put me in a Christmas frame of mind!

And one that I just stumbled upon this week is a new Christmas album from Celtic Thunder! It’s called “Christmas Voices” and, coincidently, also begins with “Carol of the Bells”!

Because the market for Christmas music is such a narrow niche, many of this year’s releases are already out (which is the case with those first two mentioned above). Here’s a quick look at what’s already been released this Fall…

The Sidewalk Prophets have their first full-length Christmas release out, “Merry Christmas To You”, which features a terrific version of the rarely-covered Ray Charles’ classic “That Spirit Of Christmas”.

Redneck Woman Gretchen Wilson’s “Christmas In My Heart” is also out, but it’s not a very redneck collection, much more crossover. And it includes her fun, previous Christmas single, her take on “I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas”.

Mary J. Blige gives us her first Christmas album, “A Mary Christmas”, though she’s had previous singles and appearances on Very Special Christmas collections. Target has a special version of this, with a couple extra tracks, by the way.

Speaking of Target, they also have special versions of the Mannheim Steamroller set mentioned above, as well as the first Christmas album from YouTube favorites “The Piano Guys”.

If you’re looking for something that really cooks, check out the second Christmas album from Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, “It Feels Like Christmas Time” (and you get a couple exclusive New Year’s tracks on the version available at Amazon).

Canadian Brass has a new one that wasn’t supposed to be out until November, but it’s already available in many online stores. It’s called “Christmas Time Is Here” and it’s different from their previous Christmas albums, as it focuses on music from their favorite Christmas TV specials!

There are two pretty big releases coming next week!

First, Johnny Mathis has a new set called “Sending You A Little Christmas”. This one includes a lot of duets, featuring Billy Joel, Gloria Estefan, Amy Grant, Susan Boyle and more!

The other big one next week is from Kelly Clarkson! It’s called “Wrapped in Red” and the Target version has a couple extra songs.

Next week will also have new releases from a pretty wide variety of artists, including Trace Adkins, Nick Lowe, Bad Religion, Dave Barnes, Restless Heart, Straight No Chaser and the guys from “Duck Dynasty”!

Texas singer/songwriter DeDe has her first Christmas album, “The World Of Christmas”, also on the way. You probably heard her single “Blame It On Summertime” on the radio over the summer.

Jewel has her second Christmas album “Let It Snow” due in November. And there’s also a Christmas album on the way from Erasure, Tamar Braxton and Leona Lewis.

There are still plenty of rumors about other releases, in fact I had heard that Kool and the Gang were even working on something! So stay tuned for the latest. And once the Sounds of Christmas gets rolling, we’ll be featuring an hour of all-new Christmas music every week night at 8:00pm (Eastern)!

Hope you’re able to spend at least some of your holiday season with us!

And may you always believe in Santa Claus!


Be sure to visit the Sounds of Christmas HERE (or click the image above or the button in the sidebar) starting November 1st and subscribe to the list to get in on the fun contests Ken offers throughout the season.  

Always in spirit....


  1. Cheryl MalandrinosOctober 25, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    Great to see the blog up and running again. One can never have enough Christmas music.

  2. Gina, a book dragonOctober 26, 2013 at 2:23 AM

    well, let's try this again. . . .

    I just ordered two of these (and a third)!

  3. Can't wait for Straight No Chaser's album. I also know that Linda Eder has a new Christmas album, but I think you have to order it from her website.

  4. Duck Dynasty guys are going to have an album? Why??? Straight No Chaser or the new Mannheim album might be albums I would pick up but I really don't like albums of all new music for the holidays. Besides, how many Christmas albums can you need? We already have 15 or 20 and rarely listen to all of them before it's time to pack them up again.

  5. You're asking the wrong person that question, Lisa, because I have over 100. LOL! I start listening November 1st through 12th night/Epiphany and I also listen on Rudolph Days (25th each month) throughout the year and all through Christmas in July (the latter two mostly in the car though...imagine the looks I get, if they happen to overhear). I'm for sure going to pick up Kelly Clarkson's and Jewel's and probably Mannheim Steamroller. I love them. Duck Dynasty? You don't even want to know what I think of them. ;O)

  6. I love Straight No Chaser! I've never heard of Linda Eder. I'll have to check her out. Do you have a link to her website?

  7. Gina, that's awesome! We're two peas in a pod. =O)

  8. Too true...never enough Christmas music!

    Yeah, I've been a bit neglectful over the past year. A lot of hard times in my life, but I'm getting back on track. Thank for stopping by, Cheryl.

  9. Cheryl MalandrinosOctober 27, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    I'm sorry to hear you've been struggling. I pray things improve for you.

  10. Thank you, Cheryl. I appreciate that.

  11. Hi will you be doing the Christmas spirit challenge this year? Thanks for all the new music suggestions. Love listening to Holiday music when we look at the Light displays.


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