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Mindy Smith adds her warm, graceful touch to the Yuletide season with her first Christmas release. Recorded in Nashville, the album is an 11 song collection that features six original tunes written and co-written by Mindy including "Come Around", "Santa Will Find You", "Follow The Shepherd Home" and the title track. The album also features such classic Christmas recordings as "Away In A Manger" with Alison Krauss on harmony vocals, "The Christmas Song", "Silver Bells" and "I'll Be Home For Christmas".
The young country chanteuse offers a homespun holiday on a collection that mixes acoustic intimacy with supper-club sophistication. Though the title track isn't likely to rank with the standards, other originals, such as "Santa Will Find You" and the testament of faith, "Follow the Shepherd Home," rank with Smith's best. Acoustic guitar gives way to jazzier arrangements as she addresses standards, such as "The Christmas Song" and "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve," while steel guitar highlights "Silver Bells." "I'll Be Home for Christmas" has more of a rock rhythm than usual, and the closing "Come Around" sounds Beatlesque in its guitar and harmonies. "Away in a Manger" benefits from Smith's vocal blend with Alison Krauss, with Thad Cockrell contributing a duet vocal on "I Know the Reason." Like chestnuts roasting on an open fire, there's a breathy warmth to Smith's vocals throughout. --Don McLeese
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The title track is actually the least interesting among the original songs, though it is pleasant enough and includes a long instrumental section in the middle of the song. Two songs that Mindy co-wrote with Chely Wright (Santa will find you, Follow the shepherd home) are outstanding and these are my favorite tracks here. The other original songs are I know the reason It really is a wonderful life (written by Chely without Mindy's help) and Come around.
This is a great album with a nice mix of familiar and original songs, all sung superbly by Mindy Smith.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
There is wonderful musicianship here; American/Tennesee with a bit of young Rock.
Thoughtful work; the listener can enjoy her insights and/or simply relax and absorb the music.