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Chet Atkins

Christmas with Chet Atkins – 1997 (Razor & Tie)

Reviewed by Brian Wahlert

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CDs by Chet Atkins

It's awfully hard to find fault with one of country's greatest guitar players playing 14 classic Christmas carols. On many tracks, Atkins is backed by The Anita Kerr Singers, but the focus is always squarely on the guitar.

The album opens with a buoyant performance of "Jingle Bell Rock," but Atkins quickly lays back to serve up a sweetly lilting performance of "Winter Wonderland." His electric guitar turns frolicsome again on "Jolly Old St. Nicholas," but on "White Christmas" he offers another smooth, soothing performance, supported by the Kerr Singer's "ooh"s.

On the last six songs, he switches to classical guitar and plays "O Come All Ye Faithful" especially beautifully before turning playful again on "Deck the Halls." The album closes with a gorgeous performance of "Silent Night." This is the perfect background music for sipping hot chocolate in front of the fireplace and falling asleep in the warm glow of the Christmas tree lights while the snow falls outside.