For this week’s weekly single recap, we’ve decided to cover 12 new Yuletide efforts that have been released as singles to (and/or played by) Country Radio for the 2012 Holiday season. We hope you enjoy this look at new tunes from Tim McGraw, Scotty McCreery, Blake Shelton, Lady Antebellum and more!
Tim McGraw – “Mary And Joseph”
Last year Tim McGraw released a special Christmas single while a ‘free agent’ artist. This year he’s released “Mary And Joseph,” a well-written track that comes from the same guy who originally sang Blake Shelton’s “God Gave Me You,” Dave Barnes. This is a mellow, relaxed story song about Mary and Joseph and can and should be a nice hit this year and for the coming Christmas seasons to come.
Scotty McCreery – “Christmas Comin’ ‘Round Again”
Scotty McCreery smartly has recorded and released a new Christmas album and this track was the official single sent to radio from the project (in EP form with “Christmas In Heaven” and “Santa Claus is Back In Town”). One of the only new songs on Scotty’s Country classic recording Christmas With Scotty McCreery, it sounds remarkably great intermixed with other Christmas songs and nicely showcases Scotty’s voice. It can and should be another good 2012 Christmas chart hit and future year hit, just like TIm McGraw’s.
Blake Shelton W/Michael Buble – “Home”
Smart. That’s All I need to say about the choice to record “Home” as a Christmas song, complete with mostly new lyrics. It’s going to help this oft-recorded song become a year-in-year-out hit for Buble and will give the song a new way to be recorded by other artists in all genres. Here Blake takes the timeless song and makes a familiar song fresh. Buble’s guest appearance is but one of many on Cheers, It’s Christmas but suits the song and gives them a reason to sing together.
Lady Antebellum – “Holly Jolly Christmas”
Lady Antebellum recorded this classic as one of the dozen Christmas songs on their On This Winter’s Night collection and by golly if it isn’t as joyful and as lavish as we have come to expect Christmas songs to be. And like other Country artists recording Christmas records, Lady Antebellum takes the chance to perform with an orchestra and brass section to bring “Holly Jolly Christmas” to life with spirited performances from the vocalists and the band.
Martina McBride – “Please Come Home For Christmas”
One of the new tracks from A Very Special Christmas 25th Anniversary Collection, “Please Come Home From Christmas” allows Martina McBride to dig into a familiar melancholic Christmas lyric and as usual, she makes it her own, just like she did on her Gold-selling Christmas album recorded for RCA Nashville a few years ago. This song alone makes the purchase of “A Varrey Special Christmas 25 Years Bringing Joy To The World” worthy of buying, to say nothing of the 100% of that album’s profits being given to The Special Olympics.
Phoenix Stone – “Baby, It’s Christmas”
The singer/songwriter has been making a living writing and singing music for over the decade and released a strong radio single in “100 Proof Moonshine” earlier this year. This new soulful Christmas tune reveals more of his talent with a vocal that recalls Ronnie Dunn with its level of sophistication and lonesomeness. The backing tracks accompanying Stone’s vocals accentuate his voice as he sings each line with emotive passion.
Rascal Flatts – “Mary, Did You Know?”
Another track from the Very Special Christmas album, Rascal Flatts take of Mary Did You Know is a very special because it allows all three vocalists in the band to sing lead vocals, something I’d actually like to hear the band do more of. Jay Demarcus leads off, Joe Don Rooney is next and Gary Levox takes the song home with his well-known melismatic vocal range. Yes, Gary is a very good vocalist but so are the other guys and on a song like this they are able to showcase this. The harmonies are spot on, and once again it shows how great of a song Mark Lowrey’s “Mary, Did You Know” is.
Stephen Young – “Smile Again”
This newcomer will be releasing his first record in early 2013 and this is a nice Holiday-themed song that comes from the record and really showcases a vocalist with the same kind of emotional tone found on many Garth Brooks classics without ever sounding like he’s a ‘copycat’ of any kind. The lyrics are nice, the production is first-rate (if a bit understated) and, again, Young has all kinds of potential.
Lisa Matassa – The Christmas Song”
A gifted vocalist, Lisa takes on this classic made famous by Nat King Cole and gives it enough to suggest that it could be played on country radio while also not veering too far from the original melody. That being said, the big band, ‘jazz’ sound has been replaced with a strong children’s choir and traditional country instruments in the mix. Well done.
Jaida Dreyer – “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”
Jaida Dreyer’s a talented newcomer who brings a spirited feel to this, her first Christmas single for Streamsound Records. It’s always been a fun song and her natural twang on the song recalls Brenda Lee’s classic Christmas tunes and the spirited fiddles and steel guitar solos ensure the this Yuletide favorite remains a yuletide classic for years to come.
Craig Morrison – “Santa Claus Boogie”
Fun. That’s what this new Christmas song from Australian Country artist Craig Morrison’s all about. the performances are spirited and the vocal delivery showcases the uptempo, danceable melody. This isn’t a story song like some others in this rundown but it’s just as good as those tunes and worthy of joining any Christmas playlist! this year.
Phil Vassar – Santa’s Gone Hollywood
Listen and buy 10 of the 12 songs featured here (Only Tim McGraw and Stephen Young are absent)