When complaints about Christmas music start popping up on Twitter and Facebook--how it plays on every store's PA system roughly three minutes after Halloween ends--I'm right there kvetching with the hoi polloi.
But in the name of good cheer, I let my disdain for carols and noels be outweighed by local music, Moxie Java and a cutesy title, and I popped in the collaborative new CD, Idaho Ho Ho With Moxie Java: A Celebration of the Holidays with Idaho Artists.
The CD opens with a slow burn by David Andrews (of Calobo fame) and then gets a little jazzy with Shon Sanders. And then from young Travis McDaniel, to seasoned Pinto Bennett, to multitasking Steve Fulton (Audiolab mixed and mastered the CD), to sweet Fauxbois, to Rebecca Scott, Field Guide, AKA Belle, Nancy Kelly, Rochelle Smith, Sherpa, Bill Coffey and Dan Costello, these local singers and strummers cover every possible Christmas mood better than dancing ladies, leaping lords, milking maids, swimming swans or pear-tree-sitting partridges ever could.
Costello's "Making Seasons Bright" (which he said was originally titled "Make The Season Bright") is an especially bright spot on the CD. It's a collaboration with Coffey and is so spot-on and sounds so traditional, that you'll think it's a cover. It's not.
Two things make this CD a must listen for even the bah-humbuggiest. First, many of the 14 tracks are original compositions, which is an impressive feat when you think about the thousands of Christmas albums that have been put out over the years. Who knew there were any original holiday ideas left? And second, proceeds from sales of the CD benefit the Idaho Foodbank.
Leave it to a bunch of local musicians and Moxie Java to suck the grinchiness right out of me.
The CD is available exclusively at participating Moxie Java locations.