Dailey & Vincent

The Sounds Of Christmas – 2018 (BMG)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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With "The Sounds of Christmas," Dailey & Vincent gift us with an honest-to-goodness country Christmas album. It's tough to find honest-to-goodness country music - let alone Christmas country - but this duo's bluegrass and gospel grounding give their album deep roots.

Dolly Parton's big presence on "Road to Bethlehem" adds a sweet touch, even though the new song shares a melody with Bruce Springsteen's "One Step Up." It's one of a few new songs on an album of mostly familiar material. They do a nice job with "Mary Did You Know," as well as skillfully closing with "Little Town of Bethlehem" and "Go Tell It on The Mountain." The secular stuff is also fine, namely the jazz touches driving "Let It Snow." Their take on "Mr. Grinch" is so good, it almost makes you forget the original.

Perhaps best of all, though, is the bonus track "Tonight It's Christmas," which also features Ricky Skaggs. Its lyric highlights the beauty and power of Christmas, a night that can even bring peace to warring factions. The D&V spin on "Rocking Around the Christmas Tree" even rocks with true rockabilly joy, making it another notable selection.

"The Sounds of Christmas" proves you don't need to radically update, nor go overboard vintage to create a memorable holiday album. Just play to your strengths, the way Dailey & Vincent do with this fine effort.