Album Review: Mandy Barnett - Winter Wonderland

Gifted with one of the best and purest voices in all of music, Mandy Barnett has resurfaced with this retro cool visit to the bygone Nashville Sound era using timeless, well-known Christmas carols as the vessel.

The band used on this recording includes legendary studio musicians like steel guitarist Lloyd Green, fiddler Hoot Hester, pianist Tony Miglore, drummer Gene Christman and guitarist Harold Bradley and they help to give the album that Nashville Sound that they were an instrumental part in creating in the 1960s.  The record kicks off with the title track “Winter Wodnerland” and immediately showcases that this album feels like a vintage recording from 50 years ago.  In other words it feels like an instant classic as the fantastic “Marshmallow World,” with the cheery melody and harmony vocals arranged and provided by legendary harmony vocalist Louis Nunely .

“Holly Jolly Christmas” is as classic sounding here as it was when originally recorded by Burl Ives years ago while the lonesomeness originally found in “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” is present while Mandy’s rendition of “White Christmas” is as soaring and fantastic as “Jingle Bell Rock” is playful.  This album is certain to appeal to fans of the Nashville Sound or those yearning for holiday music that is as warm and familiar as a cup of hot cocoa and “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

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