My Christmas Song for You
My Christmas Song for You is a mix of Brine originals and guest performances of similar ilk. The overall effect of the album is quirky, yes, but lovely as well. Brine's unique vocal quality immediately brings Leon Redbone to mind, but rendered quietly with his gentle strings it contains a mournful power that is quite moving. Opening track Mary Had a Choice Too (Behold Mother) brims with understated beauty, it's sweet fiddle tenderly dancing around the melody line. The title track features Will Travis, his vocals softly appealing as he recounts past holidays. The down home Christmas continues on "Emmanuel (God With Us)," quietly adoring the Gift with simmering keys and exquisite strings. Geoff Bartley's "Sonwfall" is in the same lovely melodic vein, and David Nevue's simple piano arrangements of "Watching Their Flocks" transports you back to that quietly wintry evening. But it was Brine's own "Wise Men" that I enjoyed most, his unique vocals borne by Linda Joseph's searing violin and the unexpected noodling of Denis Colby's electric guitar. I don't know about you, but it's the unique Christmas music that I look for, and Mark Brine brings it, in spades.