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Wade Bowen

Twelve Twenty-Five – 2019 (Bowewn Sounds)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Wade Bowen

With "Twelve Twenty-Five," Wade Bowen covers a whole lot of musical territory. He sings a couple of country Christmas favorites ("If We Make It Through December" (featuring Cody Canada) and "Once Upon A Christmas" (the Dolly Parton song). He also bravely takes on "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)," which stands up surprisingly well next to Darlene Love's definitive version. He also makes a couple of widely unloved holiday songs ("Last Christmas" and "All I Want For Christmas Is You") listenable. If not a Christmas miracle, it's darn close.

Bowen is a strong, country vocalist, which will make these dozen songs appeal to traditional country fans. He closes with a sincere and country-fied version of "O Holy Night," which somehow sounds reverent and bar-ready - at the same time. His mainly piano-driven "Silent Night" is also a fine spiritual, which features a wonderful organ solo. Santa gets his due with "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," while "White Christmas" provides secular seasonal joy.

Thankfully, Bowen doesn't attempt to reinvent the wheel, so to speak, with these 12 songs. Instead, he sings these selections like a talented country boy. That's the true gift here.