10 New Christmas Albums To Make Your Holidays Merry & Bright
By Lindsay Williams, contributing writer, uptv.com
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and these 10 brand-new releases will provide the perfect soundtrack to all your tree trimming, gift wrapping, card writing and cookie baking in anticipation of December 25.
1. MercyMe, MercyMe, It’s Christmas! (FairTrade Services)
Back with their follow-up to 2005’s critically-acclaimed The Christmas Sessions, MercyMe returns a decade later with MercyMe, It’s Christmas! With a host of traditional favorites— reimagined in the band’s signature pop/rock style—and three originals, this sophomore Christmas set is every bit as brilliant as their first. The band will perform their new holiday hits with local symphonies in select cities this winter, and they’ll also appear on the 2015 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
What’s Next: MercyMe will sat sail on the 2016 K-LOVE Cruise January 25-30, alongside Chris Tomlin, Skillet, Matthew West, Crowder and more.
Official Website: www.mercyme.org
2. Gaither Vocal Band, Christmas Collection (Gaither Music Group)
This new installment of Gaither Vocal Band Christmas songs is the premier collection for longtime fans of the award-winning group. Produced by Bill Gaither and Ben Isaacs (Oak Ridge Boys, Jimmy Fortune), Christmas Collection combines nostalgic classics from group members past and present with six all-new recordings sung by the current line-up, including Bill Gaither, David Phelps, Wes Hampton, Todd Suttles and Adam Crabb. This timeless release also features Mark Lowry’s incredible live rendition of “Mary, Did You Know?” Christmas Collection is available at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® locations nationwide, in addition to traditional retail and online outlets.
What’s Next: The Gaither Vocal Band will headline a tour scheduled to hit more than a dozen states beginning in January.
Official Website: www.gaither.com
3. LeAnn Rimes, Today Is Christmas (Prodigy Entertainment)
Powerhouse country vocalist LeAnn Rimes covers a sleigh full of Christmas classics and two originals on Today Is Christmas. She collaborates with soulful hip-hop artist Aloe Blacc on “That Spirit of Christmas” and pop/rock sensation Gavin DeGraw on a cover of Kenny Loggins’ “Celebrate Me Home.” The official video for the song highlights emotional moments from real-life military homecomings. On each of the 12 West Coast stops on her “Today Is Christmas Tour” this winter, veterans across the country will receive VIP concert tickets, a personal on-stage “thank you” from Rimes and a special gift.
What’s Next: Rimes is writing for a brand-new studio record slated for release in 2016.
Official Website: leannrimesworld.com
4. Chris Tomlin, ADORE: Christmas Songs of Worship (sixstepsrecords)
Recorded live at Nashville’s iconic Ocean Way Studios over the course of two nights, ADORE: Christmas Songs of Worship marks Chris Tomlin’s second foray into seasonal material. The new collection blends traditional classics with originals and features special moments with Lauren Daigle, All Sons & Daughters and Kristyn Getty. Daigle and Crowder will join the multi-award winner on the road throughout December as he takes his holiday music to the masses.
What’s Next: Tomlin will perform at the annual Passion conferences in January—two in Atlanta and one in Houston.
Official Website: www.christomlin.com
5. Andrew Greer & Friends, An Angel Band Christmas CD/DVD (Lucid Artist/MA’M Recordings)
Recorded live at the Trinity Broadcasting Network studios outside of Nashville, Andrew Greer’s An Angel Band Christmas immediately evokes feelings of warm seasonal gatherings thanks to a host of special friends that feel like family. Point of Grace, Cindy Morgan, Jaci Velasquez, Nic Gonzales and Patsy Clairmont all join Greer for both individual performances and one-of-a-kind collaborations. Available as both a DVD and CD, An Angel Band Christmas is loaded with hits, nostalgia and the authenticity that only true community can produce. Greer will bring his “angel band” to a handful of cities leading up to December 25.
What’s Next: Greer will host “An Angel Band Christmas” concert with special guests Cindy Morgan, Ron Block, The McCrary Sisters and Patsy Clairmont at the historic Franklin Theatre Nov. 30 to benefit Food for the Hungry.
Official Website: www.andrew-greer.com
6. Kenny Rogers, Once Again It’s Christmas (Warner Music Nashville)
Once Again It’s Christmas marks veteran Kenny Rogers’ sixth full-length Christmas recording and his first holiday effort in 17 years. Collaborating with Alison Krauss, Jennifer Nettles, Home Free, Jim Brickman and Winfield’s Locket, Rogers rings in the holiday season with a set list filled with unforgettable duets. In addition, an exclusive special edition, only available at Cracker Barrel, includes a bonus track featuring The Time Jumpers with longtime member Vince Gill. Since releasing his inaugural Christmas record in 1981, Rogers has hosted an annual holiday tour. This year will be no exception as he headlines the “Once Again It’s Christmas Tour” with special guest Linda Davis.
What’s Next: Rogers will embark on his final world tour in 2016 before officially retiring.
Official Website: www.kennyrogers.com
7. Laura Story, God With Us (FairTrade Services)
With God With Us, Laura Story releases her debut Christmas album. The 10-track collection features GRAMMY® Award winner Steven Curtis Chapman and Emmy Award winner Brandon Heath. In addition, on several cuts, Story is also backed by a 120-voice choir and a 50-piece orchestra. No doubt, the award-winning songwriter’s home and heart will be full this holiday season as she and her husband, Martin, celebrate Christmas with their three-year-old daughter, Josie, and one-year-old twins Ben and Griffin.
What’s Next: Story will release Bible study DVD curriculum to supplement her new book, When God Doesn’t Fix It (Thomas Nelson).
Official Website: www.laurastorymusic.com
8. Rend Collective, Campfire Christmas, Vol. 1 (Capitol CMG)
Fresh off Chris Tomlin’s massive “Love Ran Red Tour,” Northern Irish worship band Rend Collective will celebrate the season with the band’s first holiday recording. Previously released in 2014 digitally, Campfire Christmas, Vol. 1 is available this year in physical format and at music retailers everywhere. The eclectic band puts their foot-stomping Americana stamp on classics like “O Holy Night (O Night Divine)” and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.” Centered around their signature folk and Irish embellishments, this first installment of Campfire Christmas is sure to satisfy the band’s already large (and growing) fanbase.
What’s Next: Rend Collective will set out on a 50-city tour across the United States and the U.K. in support of their latest studio effort, As Family We Go.
Official Website: www.rendcollective.com
9. Danny Gokey, Christmas Is Here (BMG)
Helmed by award-winning producer Keith Thomas (Burt Bacharach, Amy Grant), Danny Gokey’s debut Christmas album overflows with an abundance of classics and original songs that capture the “American Idol” alum’s vocal prowess. Gokey’s warm vocals enhance Yuletide favorites like “White Christmas” and “Mary, Did You Know?” alongside originals like the album’s lead single “Lift Up Your Eyes.” In support of his first Christmas release, Gokey will join Tenth Avenue North, Natalie Grant and Sidewalk Prophets on the annual K-LOVE Christmas Tour.
What’s Next: Gokey will be a part of the 2016 Rock & Worship Roadshow Pre-Show Party, beginning in February.
Official Website: www.dannygokey.com
10. Train, Christmas In Tahoe (Columbia Records)
Available exclusively at Amazon.com, Christmas In Tahoe conjures memories of the Bay Area band’s favorite vacation spot. Recorded during the summer months at Bear Creek Studios near Seattle, the album features 15 tracks, including three originals: “Christmas Island,” “Wait for Mary Christmas” and “Shake Up Christmas.” Frontman Pat Monahan describes Train’s first stab at a holiday offering as an “alternative Christmas album.” The band intentionally didn’t want to take the traditional seasonal route, and Christmas In Tahoe proves to be a one-of-a-kind holiday experience. Amazon Prime members can currently stream the record in its entirety for free.
What’s Next: Train is working on their eighth full-length studio album, the follow-up to 2014’s Bulletproof Picasso.
Official Website: www.savemesanfrancisco.com
About the Writer
Lindsay Williams is the former editor of CCM Magazine and a former marketing manager at Thomas Nelson. She currently is a full-time freelance writer and editor, contributing to a variety of print and online media outlets, including HomeLife, ParentLife, Nashville Lifestyles, UPTV.com, Crosswalk.com and TheSoundOpinion.com, among others.
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