Although Christmas is still two months away, here is already my first review of a Christmas album. And whether you like it or not, there is a feeling of love, conviviality and memories in the air.

American guitarist, songwriter & producer Adam Hawley has reached the top of the Billboard charts 13 times, and grew up in Portland, Oregon. He remembers then dropping the needle from an old turntable onto a vinyl record, filling the house with traditional Christmas songs. The packages were then opened around the fireplace.

Now on his fifth album, he has put his own spin on 10 Christmas classics. And of course he was surrounded by family and friends. Adam opens with the up-tempo 'Jingle Bells' and says: “I am always looking to make a statement with the first track of any album. I am extremely excited to “Adam-ize” 'Jingle Bells.' It's upbeat, funky, and a wonderful way to lead off my debut Christmas album”.

The equally funky 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' features bassist Julian Vaughn, and the swinging title track was sung by vocalist L. Young. The ballad 'Christmas Time Is Here' sounds melancholic, after which his wife, singer Kat Hawley, appears as a guest on the emotional and acoustic version of 'Mary, Did You Know?'

The jazzy waltz 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas' sounds wonderfully nostalgic, followed by the playful 'O Come, All Ye Faithful'. Saxophonist and flautist Marcus Anderson shines again on 'Do You Hear What I Hear?' 'A Child Is Born' goes more in the blues direction, after which 'Celebrate Me Home' closes sensitively in the company of singer Matt Cusson.

However, I miss my favorite Christmas song 'Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer', but Adams' guitar gives these classics a new impetus. He was assisted by drummers Eric Valentine & Dan Needham, bassists Mel Brown & Ian Martin, percussionist Ramon Yslas, keyboard player Carnell Harrell, horn player and arranger David Mann, trumpeter/brass player and arranger Michael Stever, saxophonist Andrew Neu, trombonist Nick Lane, and strings by Grammy nominee Tyries Rolfe. Adam produced the album himself and also mixed the tracks himself.

A beautiful Christmas album to get into the right mood!





Jingle Bells

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

What Christmas Means To Me

Christmas Time Is Here

Mary, Did You Know?

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

O Come, All Ye Faithful

Do You Hear What I Hear?

A Child Is Born

Celebrate Me Home featuring Matt Cusson

Adam Hawley