Various Artists, A Family Christmas (Putumayo)


Putumayo’s most recent Christmas collection this year is supposedly fun for the whole family. Evidently, the whole family loves acoustic, stringed instruments—guitars, mandolins, ukuleles, and the like. As such, This is often a low-wattage, chilled-out Christmas. There’s some great stuff on it including Martin Sexton’s “Holly Jolly Christmas” and Sam Bush’s “Sleigh Ride, but the horn-based songs seem incongruous, even when some of them are New Orleans songs. Debbie Davis and Matt Perrine contribute “Mele Kalikimaka” and Lars Edegran and his Santa Claus Revelers (with Big Al Carson) sing “Frosty the Snowman,” and both are fun. A good album to put in a CD shuffle or to rip and add to a random Christmas mix.