Entertainment, On A High Note

Mavericks lead holiday parade of Christmas albums

Photos courtesy of All Eyes Media, Martina McBride

Every holiday season brings a new sleigh-full of Christmas albums by country artists who love to celebrate this festive time. This year, the bag of goodies is full of fresh releases certain to brighten the spirits of listeners everywhere.

Martina McBride, bluegrass favorites Dailey & Vincent and Aaron Watson are just a few of the artists with a Christmas record to share. The one you might want to put at the top of your list, though, is “Hey! Merry Christmas” by The Mavericks.

Here’s a look at some of the treats served up by country’s finest this holiday season.

Photo courtesy of All Eyes Media

The Mavericks “Hey! Merry Christmas”

 The award-winning band brings its own unique style to the standard Christmas album with eight originals along with their renditions of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” first made famous by the fabulous Darlene Love, and “Happy Holiday.” Lead vocalist Raul Malo tenderly croons his way through the latter as well as “Christmas for Me Is You,” a romantic excursion if ever one existed. What separates the album from many others is its distinct and liberal use of a horn section, particularly on “Santa Wants to Take You for a Ride.”

For an extra treat, get a load of the title track, an up tempo number that rocks right up there with Chuck Berry’s “Run Rudolph Run.” The Mavericks have essentially redefined the Christmas record with this project, showcasing the band’s unique and innovative sound while remaining fun and spirited throughout.

Photo by Joseph Llanes

Martina McBride “It’s the Holiday Season”

 McBride is certainly no stranger to the Christmas album with previous releases like “White Christmas,” which remains a fan favorite even 20 years after its release. “It’s the Holiday Season” offers Martina’s powerful and evocative vocals on “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Home for the Holidays” and others.

Photo courtesy of Warner Music Nashville

Brett Eldredge “Glow” Deluxe Edition

 The smooth stylist released his acclaimed “Glow” album in 2016, which took a departure from country with its big band arrangements of seasonal standards. This new Deluxe Edition will make the perfect stocking stuffer with five additional tracks, including “A Holly Jolly Christmas” and “Sleigh Ride,” for a total of 18 songs in all. No better bargain than that.

Photo courtesy of Monarch Publicity

Aaron Watson “An Aaron Watson Family Christmas”

 The Texas native makes this album a true family affair, as he features his wife Kimberly and their three children on several cuts. The ten-song collection includes two original tunes, spotlighted by “Lonestar Lonely Christmas,” a nod to Watson’s home state. It’s a fun and festive album, and listeners will easily fall in love with oldest son Jake’s rendition of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.”

Christmas Singles

Maren Morris and Pentatonix “When You Believe”

Lonestar, Phil Vassar “Not So Silent Night”

Runaway June “Sleigh Ride”