By Jo Montgomery
Kenny Rogers Gifts Us With A Christmas Miracle
Christmas albums are a longstanding holiday tradition and so is the Yule-tide anticipation of new ones every year. Thankfully, after seventeen years of waiting, Grammy Award-winning Country Music Hall of Fame-er and one of the best-selling music artists of all time, Kenny Rogers, has released his first new Christmas album, titled “Once Again It’s Christmas.” Need I say that it was worth the wait? It is “Kenny Rogers” after all.
“I can’t tell you how much fun it’s been doing another Christmas album,” said Rogers. “It’s my favorite time of year.”
A truly gifted songwriter and vocalist, Rogers has always given us something extraordinary through the lyrics and melody of his songs. He taught us about love through the words of "Lady” and “You Decorated My Life;” integrity through “The Gambler” and “Coward of the County;” loyalty through “The Vows Go Unbroken” and “I’ll Be There for You;” and friendship through “You Can’t Make Old Friends.” Rogers’ songs have woven themselves deep into our lives and are the sound tracks to many of our greatest memories and moments. We’ve moved “Through the Years” with him brilliantly scoring our adventures with flawless perfection.
In like form, Once Again It’s Christmas features an exquisite mix of contemporary and traditional Christmas songs. Time-honored tunes, like “Baby its Cold Outside” and “Some Children See Him” vibrantly illuminate our hallowed doorways into the holiday season with guest vocalists Jennifer Nettles, Alison Krauss, Home Free, Jim Brickman and Winfield’s Locket adding their own brand of “sugar and spice” to the mix. The last track on the album is a powerfully original piece Rogers co-wrote with long-time band mate Steve Glassmeyer and former band mate, Warren Hartman, called “The Light.” This song inspires a nearly indescribable experience that can’t be missed as does Rogers’ duet with Home Free - “Children, Go Where I Send Thee.” It’s a new adaptation of a gospel gem that will have you on your feet!
Needless-to-say, Rogers’ Once Again It’s Christmas is an album for all ages and musical tastes. The seventeen-year wait has ended masterfully (and gratefully, might I add) without Kenny having broken from any traditions whatsoever – country music's or the holiday’s. There’s a touch of good ol' fashioned twang infused into every note, allowing hard-core country music fans to pay homage to the Christmas season and their genre without breaking out of their cowboy boots or crinolines.
“Recording a project like this means I was able to re-live some old memories, singing some of the songs I was raised listening to and grew to love as a child,” said Rogers. “The process also allowed me to make many new memories working with some very talented people. I’m excited about all of the special guests who joined me for this, and hope you enjoy it, too.”
It’s a hope that has already been answered, Kenny, in my home. One, I am sure, will warm the hearths and hearts of many other homes as well.