Wednesday, November 23 2016 21:30

Holiday Music: Amazon Launches "Acoustic Christmas"

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'Tis the season for new Holiday Music, and as I continue to maintain what I always hope will be one of the most comprehensive lists of 2016 New Release and Reissue Holiday Music and Movies, this year there's some playlists in the mix. Amazon just sent over news that they've launched Acoustic Christmas, an Amazon Music Original playlist featuring twenty nine original and classic holiday recordings from a wide range of artists like Train, Zella Day, Us the Duo, Sara Watkins, as well as Billy Bragg and Joe Henry. The new collection is available exclusively for streaming on Amazon Music—both Amazon Music Unlimited and Prime Music.

More From the Official Announcement: In addition to mainstream artists such as Train and Zella Day, the artist roster for Acoustic Christmas highlights established members of the Americana community, including; Trampled by Turtles, Hayes Carll, and Nickel Creek’s Sara Watkins. Emerging artists like Son Little, Keaton Henson, and Little Scream are also featured on this broad and eclectic playlist.

"I feel like there’s always anticipation leading up to Christmas, we’re all just waiting for this special time of year. ‘I Miss You Christmas’ is my way of literally singing praise to my favorite holiday,” said Pat Monahan, lead singer of Train.

The song selection for Acoustic Christmas reflects the diverse group of artists involved, including a mix of covers of holiday classics and original compositions. Watkins’ “The Holidays with You” is an upbeat original, while Billy Bragg and Joe Henry delivered a plaintive rendition of the late Merle Haggard’s “If We Make It Through December,” recorded during their recent U.S. tour.

acousticxmas“The moment that we were first reached with an invitation to contribute a song to Amazon's holiday playlist, the two of us were en route through an autumnal rain from the big city to the mystic hamlet of Woodstock, NY. Eager to participate and knowing time was short, we pulled guitars from the bay of our small touring bus and almost without second thought heard ourselves join voices as we bounced along, rehearsing as we traveled what proved to be the only choice of song - not only for us as songwriters of the broader folk tradition, but as world citizens desirous of navigating these treacherous times with a nod to both trembling and optimism: Merle Haggard's seminal blue-collar Christmas meditation, ‘If We Make It Through December’” explain Billy Bragg and Joe Henry.

Additionally, Escondido’s beautiful version of “Little Drummer Boy” stands alongside newcomer Samuel Larsen’s acoustic-pop take on Brooks & Dunn’s “It Won’t Be Christmas Without You,” Son Little’s “What Child is This?” and American folk pop singers, Us the Duo’s newly-written song “Feels like Christmas”.

“This has always been my favorite Christmas song, partly because it uses the melody of Greensleeves-- I think it fits perfectly with the air of mystery suggested in the lyrics.” – Son Little

The result is a timeless mix of songs showcasing the best characteristics of both acoustic and holiday music.

Acoustic Christmas Track List: 


1.     “This Christmas,” Eric Hutchinson
2.     “Feels Like Christmas,” Us The Duo         
3.     “The Holidays with You,” Sara Watkins        
4.     “Birthday Cake For Jesus,” Shinyribs
5.     “My Own Christmas Tree,” Andrew Combs
6.     “Grateful for Christmas,” Hayes Carll
7.     “Christmas Time,” Linda Stonestreet
8.     “Merry Christmas To You,” G. Love
9.     “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” Zella Day
10.   “What Child Is This?” Son Little
11.   “Christmas Was Here,” Inara George
12.   “I Miss You, Christmas,” Train
13.   “Christmas at McKinley Pub,” Stone Foxes
14.   “Auld Lang Syne,” Barcelona
15.   “Little Drummer Boy,” Escondido
16.   “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” Black Joe Lewis
17.   “If We Make It Through December,” Billy Bragg & Joe Henry
18.   “Christmas In Prison,” Tramped By Turtles
19.   “Taking Down The Tree,” Keaton Henson
20.   “Christmas Street,” Bob Schneider
21.   “Come Home for Christmas,” Echocentrics (feat. Natalia Clavier)  
22.   “Cold Street,” Baskery
23.   “We Were Just Kids Then,” Arum Rae
24.   “It Won't Be Christmas Without You,” Samuel Larsen
25.   “Merry Christmas From the War,” Jillette Johnson           
26.   “Lou and Jessy's Christmas,” Little Scream
27.   “Is It to Bethlehem,” Kacy & Clayton
28.   “I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day,” Anais Mitchell
29.   “One Little Christmas Tree,” Barbarossa           


James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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