Artist:  Annie Moses Band
Title:  This Glorious Christmas
Label:  Provident Music Distribution

Glorious, refined debut … 

There’s certainly something respectable about a band of young people who hope to “raise up a generation of excellence among musicians in the Church.” Where original, innovative art once thrived, the Church has been noted in modern culture as a “behind-the-times” venue where creativity is stalemated by what is deemed “appropriate” and “inappropriate” for worship.

But Annie Moses Band put its words of hope into action. Having been thoroughly educated in the fine arts (does Julliard ring any bells?), the five siblings not only create excellent recorded product but host Fine Arts Summer Academies to gift even younger generations with a skilled appreciation for arts in the context of greater spiritual meaning.

This fall the siblings contribute their refined sound to This Glorious Christmas, the band’s first major label debut. A stylistic journey through elements of bluegrass, pop, jazz and classical music, the holiday disc is amazingly cohesive, thanks to Annie’s lead vocal and the other four siblings' consistent instrumental (Alex on viola, Benjamin on cello, Gretchen on violin and mandolin and Camille on harp) and vocal contributions.

Beginning with the traditional English “Sussex Carol,” the siblings’ fiddles play off one another in a delightful, Irish-flavored instrumental dance motif. An audience favorite, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” mixes the instrumental strong suits of each member while communicating the carol’s timeless message through traditional three-part harmonies.

Originals such as the country/pop influenced “Little Baby” (think Alison Krauss) strengthen the handpicked carols. But it is the creative force of the band’s instrumental arrangements that most effectively translate on CD. From the modern pulses of the harp on the indefectible “We Three Kings” to the bending Appalachia fiddle and harmonizing mandolin on “Go Tell it on the Mountain" and the impressionistic dreamscape of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," the members of Annie Moses Band know their instruments and know them well.

This “glorious” Christmas, enjoy a band who has chops to spare, and cozy up to the infectious landscapes of Annie Moses Band.

  
©2008 ChristianMusicPlanet.com.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.

*This review first published on December 22, 2008.


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