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On her first-ever holiday album For Christmas, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Amanda Shires invites the world into a fantastically warped wonderland of her own making. Though theres flying reindeer and fallen tinsel and angels serenely plucking harps, Shiress finespun storytelling sheds light on the kind of holiday experiences and emotions that often go ignored in Christmas songs: the family drama and forced cheer, burnt-out frustration and elaborate fantasies of escaping off to some far-away tropical island. Mostly made up of original material from the Texas-bred musician, the album unfolds in a selection of piano songs touched with the timeless charm of Brill Building popa lovely setting for the luminous vocal presence shes brought to a series of acclaimed solo albums and to her role as a member of The Highwomen. Revealing an entirely new side of Shiress idiosyncratic mind, the result belongs to that rare breed of holiday music that feels undeniably resonant at any season of the year.

The follow-up to 2018s critically lauded To The Sunset, For Christmas marks the realization of a longtime dream for Shires. Ive always wanted to make a record thats true to what Christmas is like for me, and all the mixed emotions that come with it, she says. Theres the happiness of being with family, and then the reality that getting a bunch of your family members in the same room is maybe never a great idea. Im one of those hopeless-romantic types, so theres the romance and beauty of Christmas but also the sadness, especially when not everybody youre used to having around gets to be there anymore. Theres a lot of nostalgia in these songs, but theres a lot of reality too.

Produced by Lawrence Rothman and recorded live at Sound Emporium Studios in her homebase of Nashville, For Christmas finds Shires working with bassist Jimbo Hart (her bandmate in Jason Isbells 400 Unit), pianist Peter Levin (a jazz musician she met while touring with The Gregg Allman Band), guitarist Pat Buchanan (Dolly Parton, The Chicks), and drummer Fred Eltringham (Sheryl Crow, Lucinda Williams). Over the course of four hot days in July, Shires and her collaborators laid down the albums nine original songs and two covers (including Frank Loessers What Are You Doing New Years Eve? and a darkly charged reimagining of Silent Night), infusing every track with the unbridled joy of the recording sessions. We ate a ton of donuts and all wore Christmas hats, and the place was decked out in all these Christmas lights, recalls Shires, who played fiddle and violin on For Christmas. Its hard to be in the studio sometimes, but everybody brought so much fun and humanity to the whole thing.

Throughout For Christmas, Shires leads her audience on a whirlwind journey through the chaos of holidays, often spiking her nuanced reflection with a bit of goofball humor (The pressures different when youre writing Christmas songs as opposed to confessional songs or protest songstheres a chance to bring some comedy, and get more punny than normal, she notes). Along the way, Shires presents such gems as Blame It on the Mistletoe, a tribute to the dizzying bliss of falling in love at holiday time (sample lyric: I admit I was feeling a little ho-ho-hopeless/Thinking this crush was just one-sided). One of several tracks featuring legendary gospel quartet The McCrary Sisters, the sublimely offbeat Gone for Christmas slinks along in a Grinch-inspired groove as Shires shares a litany of less-than-orthodox holiday wishes (I want a date with Larry David/I want Costa Rica or the Caymans/And I want you gone for Christmas). And on Always Christmas Around Here, For Christmas closes out with a riotously true-to-life portrait of the holidays aftermath (A mess in the living room/Theres a wine all over the couch/My sisters arent speaking/Whos crying now?). That song was my favorite to put together, Shires points out. John Prine had passed away not too long before, and he loved Christmashe always had a Christmas tree up everywhere, even in the studio. I was thinking about all the problems that come with the holidays, and how difficult families can be, and I know I wrote a song he would say was pretty great.

Elsewhere on For Christmas, Shires channels everything from lustful whimsy (A Real Tree This Year) to glorious catharsis (Lets Get Away) to heavy-hearted longing (on the quietly devastating Slow Falling Snow). What I wanted to do with this record was capture all of my feelings about Christmas, and Ive still got more feelings to goits so fun I might do it again, says Shires. I hope it helps people know that all the feelings are okay, that its all right to feel down on Christmas when theres so much celebrating going on around you. And at the same time I just wanted to give everyone some Christmas songs they havent already heard 200,000 times before, and hopefully get them all to sing along.

On her first-ever holiday album For Christmas, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Amanda Shires invites the world into a fantastically warped wonderland of her own making. Though theres flying reindeer and fallen tinsel and angels serenely plucking harps, Shiress finespun storytelling sheds light on the kind of holiday experiences and emotions that often go ignored in Christmas songs: the family drama and forced cheer, burnt-out frustration and elaborate fantasies of escaping off to some far-away tropical island. Mostly made up of original material from the Texas-bred musician, the album unfolds in a selection of piano songs touched with the timeless charm of Brill Building popa lovely setting for the luminous vocal presence shes brought to a series of acclaimed solo albums and to her role as a member of The Highwomen. Revealing an entirely new side of Shiress idiosyncratic mind, the result belongs to that rare breed of holiday music that feels undeniably resonant at any season of the year.

The follow-up to 2018s critically lauded To The Sunset, For Christmas marks the realization of a longtime dream for Shires. Ive always wanted to make a record thats true to what Christmas is like for me, and all the mixed emotions that come with it, she says. Theres the happiness of being with family, and then the reality that getting a bunch of your family members in the same room is maybe never a great idea. Im one of those hopeless-romantic types, so theres the romance and beauty of Christmas but also the sadness, especially when not everybody youre used to having around gets to be there anymore. Theres a lot of nostalgia in these songs, but theres a lot of reality too.

Produced by Lawrence Rothman and recorded live at Sound Emporium Studios in her homebase of Nashville, For Christmas finds Shires working with bassist Jimbo Hart (her bandmate in Jason Isbells 400 Unit), pianist Peter Levin (a jazz musician she met while touring with The Gregg Allman Band), guitarist Pat Buchanan (Dolly Parton, The Chicks), and drummer Fred Eltringham (Sheryl Crow, Lucinda Williams). Over the course of four hot days in July, Shires and her collaborators laid down the albums nine original songs and two covers (including Frank Loessers What Are You Doing New Years Eve? and a darkly charged reimagining of Silent Night), infusing every track with the unbridled joy of the recording sessions. We ate a ton of donuts and all wore Christmas hats, and the place was decked out in all these Christmas lights, recalls Shires, who played fiddle and violin on For Christmas. Its hard to be in the studio sometimes, but everybody brought so much fun and humanity to the whole thing.

Throughout For Christmas, Shires leads her audience on a whirlwind journey through the chaos of holidays, often spiking her nuanced reflection with a bit of goofball humor (The pressures different when youre writing Christmas songs as opposed to confessional songs or protest songstheres a chance to bring some comedy, and get more punny than normal, she notes). Along the way, Shires presents such gems as Blame It on the Mistletoe, a tribute to the dizzying bliss of falling in love at holiday time (sample lyric: I admit I was feeling a little ho-ho-hopeless/Thinking this crush was just one-sided). One of several tracks featuring legendary gospel quartet The McCrary Sisters, the sublimely offbeat Gone for Christmas slinks along in a Grinch-inspired groove as Shires shares a litany of less-than-orthodox holiday wishes (I want a date with Larry David/I want Costa Rica or the Caymans/And I want you gone for Christmas). And on Always Christmas Around Here, For Christmas closes out with a riotously true-to-life portrait of the holidays aftermath (A mess in the living room/Theres a wine all over the couch/My sisters arent speaking/Whos crying now?). That song was my favorite to put together, Shires points out. John Prine had passed away not too long before, and he loved Christmashe always had a Christmas tree up everywhere, even in the studio. I was thinking about all the problems that come with the holidays, and how difficult families can be, and I know I wrote a song he would say was pretty great.

Elsewhere on For Christmas, Shires channels everything from lustful whimsy (A Real Tree This Year) to glorious catharsis (Lets Get Away) to heavy-hearted longing (on the quietly devastating Slow Falling Snow). What I wanted to do with this record was capture all of my feelings about Christmas, and Ive still got more feelings to goits so fun I might do it again, says Shires. I hope it helps people know that all the feelings are okay, that its all right to feel down on Christmas when theres so much celebrating going on around you. And at the same time I just wanted to give everyone some Christmas songs they havent already heard 200,000 times before, and hopefully get them all to sing along.

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For Christmas
Artist: Amanda Shires
Format: CD
New: Not in stock
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On her first-ever holiday album For Christmas, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Amanda Shires invites the world into a fantastically warped wonderland of her own making. Though theres flying reindeer and fallen tinsel and angels serenely plucking harps, Shiress finespun storytelling sheds light on the kind of holiday experiences and emotions that often go ignored in Christmas songs: the family drama and forced cheer, burnt-out frustration and elaborate fantasies of escaping off to some far-away tropical island. Mostly made up of original material from the Texas-bred musician, the album unfolds in a selection of piano songs touched with the timeless charm of Brill Building popa lovely setting for the luminous vocal presence shes brought to a series of acclaimed solo albums and to her role as a member of The Highwomen. Revealing an entirely new side of Shiress idiosyncratic mind, the result belongs to that rare breed of holiday music that feels undeniably resonant at any season of the year.

The follow-up to 2018s critically lauded To The Sunset, For Christmas marks the realization of a longtime dream for Shires. Ive always wanted to make a record thats true to what Christmas is like for me, and all the mixed emotions that come with it, she says. Theres the happiness of being with family, and then the reality that getting a bunch of your family members in the same room is maybe never a great idea. Im one of those hopeless-romantic types, so theres the romance and beauty of Christmas but also the sadness, especially when not everybody youre used to having around gets to be there anymore. Theres a lot of nostalgia in these songs, but theres a lot of reality too.

Produced by Lawrence Rothman and recorded live at Sound Emporium Studios in her homebase of Nashville, For Christmas finds Shires working with bassist Jimbo Hart (her bandmate in Jason Isbells 400 Unit), pianist Peter Levin (a jazz musician she met while touring with The Gregg Allman Band), guitarist Pat Buchanan (Dolly Parton, The Chicks), and drummer Fred Eltringham (Sheryl Crow, Lucinda Williams). Over the course of four hot days in July, Shires and her collaborators laid down the albums nine original songs and two covers (including Frank Loessers What Are You Doing New Years Eve? and a darkly charged reimagining of Silent Night), infusing every track with the unbridled joy of the recording sessions. We ate a ton of donuts and all wore Christmas hats, and the place was decked out in all these Christmas lights, recalls Shires, who played fiddle and violin on For Christmas. Its hard to be in the studio sometimes, but everybody brought so much fun and humanity to the whole thing.

Throughout For Christmas, Shires leads her audience on a whirlwind journey through the chaos of holidays, often spiking her nuanced reflection with a bit of goofball humor (The pressures different when youre writing Christmas songs as opposed to confessional songs or protest songstheres a chance to bring some comedy, and get more punny than normal, she notes). Along the way, Shires presents such gems as Blame It on the Mistletoe, a tribute to the dizzying bliss of falling in love at holiday time (sample lyric: I admit I was feeling a little ho-ho-hopeless/Thinking this crush was just one-sided). One of several tracks featuring legendary gospel quartet The McCrary Sisters, the sublimely offbeat Gone for Christmas slinks along in a Grinch-inspired groove as Shires shares a litany of less-than-orthodox holiday wishes (I want a date with Larry David/I want Costa Rica or the Caymans/And I want you gone for Christmas). And on Always Christmas Around Here, For Christmas closes out with a riotously true-to-life portrait of the holidays aftermath (A mess in the living room/Theres a wine all over the couch/My sisters arent speaking/Whos crying now?). That song was my favorite to put together, Shires points out. John Prine had passed away not too long before, and he loved Christmashe always had a Christmas tree up everywhere, even in the studio. I was thinking about all the problems that come with the holidays, and how difficult families can be, and I know I wrote a song he would say was pretty great.

Elsewhere on For Christmas, Shires channels everything from lustful whimsy (A Real Tree This Year) to glorious catharsis (Lets Get Away) to heavy-hearted longing (on the quietly devastating Slow Falling Snow). What I wanted to do with this record was capture all of my feelings about Christmas, and Ive still got more feelings to goits so fun I might do it again, says Shires. I hope it helps people know that all the feelings are okay, that its all right to feel down on Christmas when theres so much celebrating going on around you. And at the same time I just wanted to give everyone some Christmas songs they havent already heard 200,000 times before, and hopefully get them all to sing along.

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