12/14/2009

Alan Jackson Helps Me Make It Through December

Alan Jackson Helps Me Make It Through December
Posted: December 14th, 2009 at 1:39 pm  |  By: Craig Shelburne cmt.com

Over the last four or five years, I have grown particularly fond of Alan Jackson's first holiday album, Honky Tonk Christmas. I don't know what took me so long. A lot of country stars decide to get a big swooping orchestra when the seasonal urges strike (and Jackson himself did that on a holiday follow-up) but on this 1993 album it's as country as you can get. Well, almost ... I think I hear a saxophone on the title track. But all is forgiven when Alison Krauss lends her heavenly soprano for a pretty duet, "The Angels Cried." Jackson also covers Merle Haggard's "If We Make It Through December," which I used to skip because I like the original so much, but I've since realized that everybody digs up chestnuts for their Christmas albums. Meanwhile, "I Only Want You for Christmas" is playful and flirtatious, and thus the polar opposite of the next tune, "Merry Christmas to Me," about a guy who's alone with just one gift. (Nope, not slippers.) Man, that sad steel guitar gets me every time. I hope he makes it through December.

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