Skip Ewing - "Follow Yonder Star"

In the music business very few albums will last long enough to be in print 18 years after their first release, particularly an artist who's known more as a songwriter than as a singer yet here it is, a holiday favorite with some classic songs.

Released in 1990, near his commercial peak, "Following Yonder Star" served as Skip Ewing's entry into the canon of Christmas music.  What's interesting about the collection is that it started out as just another holiday release and now, 18 years after its release, "Following Yonder Star" is the only Skip Ewing album still in print.  The reason the album is in print is the timelessness of the collection and a pair of new (at the time) gems. 

But before we get to the gems we should discuss the classics covered here.  The title track is a medley of "We Three Kings," "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and "My Favorite Things" and was an inventive way to weave classic holiday favorites into a new cohesive track. Skip sings "O Come All Ye Faithful a cappella while his readings of "Silent Night" and "White Christmas" are given nice, timeless readings and are really guided by Skip's strong baritone vocal.  "The Little Drummer Boy" is given a slight-modern (well, for 1990 anyway) mix while retaining all the characteristics that made the song the yuletide favorite that it is. 

There were five new tracks on the CD and while "Alleluia (A Christmas Lullaby)" "Mrs. Santa Claus" and "I Trust You" are good songs in their own right, the pair of gems mentioned above, "It Wasn't His Child" and "Christmas Carol" have stood out as far and away the best tracks on this album.  "Christmas Carol" is a story song about the way an orphaned little girl gets into the heart of the man playing Santa at the mall.  It's a sweet story song that only sounds better over time.  "It Wasn't His Child" tells the great story of Joseph and how he loved baby Jesus as his own child.  It's a strong song about loving someone even if they're not your own flesh and blood.

Skip Ewing has gone on to be an oft-recorded songwriter penning hits for people like Bryan White, Kenny Chesney, Collin Raye and Reba McEntire, but his shining moment as a recording artist was this collection of Christmas songs. 

You can support Skip Ewing by purchasing this album at Amazon | iTunes | eMusic.