Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sara Groves: O Holy Night

It happens to every recording artist who achieves enough fame. The manager calls them up and says, hey, it would really be great if you did a Christmas album. The fans would love it.

That is to say, real die-hard fans will love hearing your own butchered versions of Christmas classics, but practically no one else will. Country music artists seem to be particularly notorious for this. Yep, Christmas in the country, with a guy who never saw the business end of a plow, and who televised his last holiday special at his mansion outside Nashville. "Honey, would you (order one of the servants to) throw another log on the fire?" Lovely.

But every now and then, someone comes along who breaks convention, and turns the warmed-over concept completely on its ear.

Thirty-nine year old contemporary Christian artist Sara Groves was born in Vineland, New Jersey, and grew up in Springfield, Missouri. Her passion for songwriting came out of a "lonesome" childhood, and was later encouraged by her husband Troy. In September 2005, Sara, Troy, his father, a neighbour, and a Minneapolis ER doctor delivered a tour bus and trailer load of baby supplies to victims of Hurricane Katrina in Slidell, Louisiana.

In 2008, she released her eighth album, O Holy Night, which took traditional Christmas songs and did her own twist on the melody, in some instances more of a departure than others. This is not something everyone can pull off very easily. This writer discovered her on Pandora's "Folk Holidays Radio" and was completely blown away. This album is available on MP3 download. Give a listen to the sampler, and be amazed for yourself.

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