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....