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A Very Special Acoustic Christmas
Various Artists
A Very Special Acoustic Christmas
Genres: Country, Folk, Special Interest, Pop
 
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1

Every year since 1987, there's been A Very Special Christmas record of one sort or another, the proceeds of which go to the Special Olympics. This year's A Very Special Acoustic Christmas is as great as any previous year's...  more »

      
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Synopsis

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Every year since 1987, there's been A Very Special Christmas record of one sort or another, the proceeds of which go to the Special Olympics. This year's A Very Special Acoustic Christmas is as great as any previous year's efforts, even though it's deliciously unplugged. Country music superstars like Reba McEntire, Alan Jackson, and Wynonna are balanced by such legendary country and bluegrass figures as Earl Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, Ricky Skaggs, and Willie Nelson (doing a version of Charles Brown's "Please Come Home for Christmas" that's almost as haunting as Brown's). Throw in the father of newgrass Sam Bush's sparkling "Let it Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!," Tift Merritt's sensual "I'll Be Home for Christmas," and a handful of other luminaries and you get a 16-tune acoustic set long on value that ends with multi-Grammy-winner Norah Jones singing "Peace." --Martin Keller

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CD Reviews

Outstanding Christmas album
Peter Durward Harris | Leicester England | 11/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is the sixth in the series of special Christmas albums dedicated to raising money for the Special Olympics, but this one is very different from previous albums that generally featured pop and rock music. This album, as its title suggests, features acoustic country and bluegrass music. As far as I know, all the recordings are new although some of the artists have recorded their chosen songs previously. Many of the songs here will be familiar to you but the simple acoustic settings featured here allow the singers to bring out the true meaning of each songThe set opens with Reba singing a great version of Silent night. Reba previously recorded this for her first Christmas album, Merry Christmas to you, in the eighties. On that occasion, she did a spoken introduction explaining how the song came to be written but she did not repeat that on this new recording.Dan Tyminski does a sparkling version of Frosty the snowman, on which a couple of children (James and Julia Knobloch) sing backup on the word Stop. Willie Nelson proves that he still has what it takes with a fine rendition of Please come home for Christmas. Alan Jackson is brilliant on the rarely recorded Just put a ribbon in your hair, an excellent Christmas love song. Alison Kraus deviates a little from the acoustic concept on her own song, Only you can bring me cheer, although it is a brilliant recording.Marty Stuart is next on Even Santa Claus gets the blues, which is a great song that he wrote himself. Earl Scruggs contributes an instrumental version of Jingle bells. Ralph Stanley sings Christmas is near, a song he wrote and first recorded as one of the Stanley brothers. Patty Loveless is a classy singer who is in her element on this type of album as she proves with one of the finest renditions of O come all ye faithful that I've ever heard.Wynonna began her career singing acoustic country as one half of the Judds and shows that she can still do that type of music with an excellent version of O holy night. Pat Green, a singer new to me, sings Winter wonderland. Sam Bush provides the second and last instrumental on this album with his version of Let it snow. Ricky Skaggs reminds us that he can still record quality music on Away in a manger. Rhonda Vincent treats us to Christmas time at home, a great bluegrass song that she wrote herself. Tift Merritt does an excellent and very distinctive version of I'll be home for Christmas. Pop-jazz singer Norah Jones sings and plays piano on the final track, Peace, without any other accompaniment.This is an outstanding collection that will give all fans of acoustic music a lot of pleasure as well as benefiting a worthy charity."
Buy this album for charity and the Alan Jackson cut
Jbrew | California | 12/07/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"If you want an upbeat Christmas album for that holiday party your throwing, this might not be it. This is a great album for those relaxing nights next to the fire with those you love. Willie Nelson, Ricky Skaggs, and Patty Loveless highlight this album. If anything, buy the album for Alan Jackson's cut of "Just Put a Ribbon in Your Hair." A version that is so good, could ultimately become a Christmas classic. A true gem. Radio! Play this song!!!"
Special Olympics shines!
Jbrew | 06/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"My best friend talks about this CD almost everyday (and it's June!) and so I finally sat down and listened to it. First of all, it is amazing that all of the money goes directly to the Special Olympics. I love country music and I love Christmas music - when Christmas comes I know this will be playing in my office!In fact - my friend listens to it when waiting on the phone! Needless to say, she has been moved to carry strong opinions about the Special Olympics since hearing it."