Favourite Newfoundland Christmas Music #3

There's something great about getting to re-discover favourite Christmas songs every December and something even greater about making new favourites. 
I love the experience that much more when the music is made by Newfoundland artists because, while music may be universal, there is something special about the songs from next door.  Sometimes it feels like nobody 'gets you' quite like the singer at the bar down the street.  Maybe that's just me.

So, here is my final(?) list of favourite Christmas music from Newfoundland & Labrador for the 2020 season.  Hope you enjoy and if you have any favourites I'd love to hear about them.

A Week in December: Ian Foster & Nancy Hynes

This is a fantastic, but bittersweet, coming-home-for-Christmas song with a St. John's reference or two. It captures the sense of joy of returning home for the holidays but tempers it with the idea that it's just for A week in December.  It's the title track from Ian Foster & Nancy Hynes, 2018 release.  The whole album is worth hearing.

In The Bleak Midwinter: Allison Crowe

I love this take on the classic despite Christina Rossetti's lyrics reminding me of high school English classes. Crowe has a couple of renditions of the song available. Check it out on her her 2004 Tidings collection, and while you're there listen to her wonderful cover of Joni Mitchell's River.

A Christmas Fancy: The Ennis Sisters

I'm very into this acapella reminder that Simani have contributed more to the Newfoundland Christmas canon than The Mummer's Song.  This cover of Christmas Fancy  is from The Ennis Sisters' Upon a Winter's Day album.  You can check out the original Simani recording here.  

The Ennis Sisters album also has a cover of Dolly Parton's With Bells On which is pretty impressive. Check it out 'cause I think it's been scientifically proven that you can't have too much Dolly.

We Wish You a Merry Christmas: Duo Concertante

I probably listen to more instrumental music at Christmas time than any other time of the year.  I was really happy when Duo Concertante released their Christmas album a few years ago because it gave me a chance to bring their amazing brand of violin and piano into my Christmas rotation. Their album Perfect Light, is full of seasonal classics and definitely worth checking out.  The album is a few years old, this amusing video is brand new for 2020.

Christmas Without You: The Fortune Ones
I always thought the Boney M Christmas album was huge in this province.  It seems to be everywhere I turn this time of year but I've mentioned it to a few people lately and they were like 'Boney who?' I've come to realize I may just be part of a subset prone to disco-carolling.  I don't know.  

In any case, if I have to select a second-most ubiquitous album I nominate the Dolly Parton/Kenny Rogers Once Upon A Christmas collaboration.1  It gets played a lot but I'm completely okay with that.  As mentioned, too much Dolly Parton is not really a thing.

I'm also okay with listening to a great covers of the material. The Fortune Ones offer a great rendition of the Dolly Parton co-written Christmas Without You.  It's a more sombre(?) less upbeat-sounding take on the original. Their cover appears on the 2016 All Will Be Well ep.

The Fortune Ones have brand new Christmas song too -- Hold On To Christmas Day.

1. I just learned David Foster co-produced this album.  Had no idea.

This is not an exhaustive list, by any means, in fact I have a lengthier one you can check out on YouTube and Apple Music.


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