With just six songs, Balsam Range does more with It’s Christmas Time than many artists manage to do with ten songs. There aren’t any “new” songs on the project but there are a couple songs which aren’t as familiar as the other tracks on this mighty fine EP. The first, “Christmas Lullaby,” is a Doc Watson tune that should become a classic country song while “I’m Going Home, It’s Christmas” is a brilliant slice of rustic Christmas sentiments and Balsam Range’s iconic instrumentals.
As for those other songs which are more familiar, the band brings in classic string arrangements to spruce up their Bluegrass songs on “The First Noel,” “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and “Jingle Bells” while proving how brilliantly versatile “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” is as a song. In the hands of Tim Surrett, Buddy Melton, Caleb Smith, Marc Pruett and Darren Nicholson, it is a swingin’, rootsy delight. Bluegrass bands always provide instrumentals on their albums and “Jingle Bells” serves as that song.
This is a delightful EP from Balsam Range and it really whets my appetite for what they could do if they ever expanded It's Christmas Time into a full-length or deluxe edition in the future. I want to hear more Christmas music from Balsam Range because six songs isn’t nearly enough!