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Balsam Range

It's Christmas Time – 2017 (Mountain Home)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Balsam Range

You can have your silver bells for Christmas time in the city, but if you're looking to experience a mountain Christmas, look no further than Balsam Range. "It's Christmas Time" opens with the moody "Christmas Lullaby," and ends on an instrumental note, with a bluegrass-y "Jingle Bells."

This six-song EP is heavy on familiar holiday songs, including "The First Noel," "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and "Hark! The Harold Angeles Sing." However, "I'm Going Home, It's Christmas Time" puts a mountain atmosphere into the holiday celebration with lovely picking and even lovelier vocal harmonies.

It's easy to get a little snarky with some of these admittedly overfamiliar tunes. This is why the project's reverent "Hark! The Harold Angels Sing" is so welcome. Assisted by a string section, which is an element that runs through the project, it's a holy moment that melts all lingering cynicism.

Perhaps these songs will give you a mountaintop experience this Christmas.