While y’all are out there killing yourselves on the Friday after Thanksgiving (being politically correct, should we still call it Black Friday?), I’m sitting in my cozy, hobbit-hole bungalow full of thankfulness and tranquillity, shopping online and watching Serendipity for the millionth time. My mule log burns in this space-heater-dominated cinnamon toast, rum, and Coke cabin, and Carrie Underwood’s new release, My Gift, saturates the hollow and soothes the holiday spirit.

One can’t deny the warmth in Carrie’s voice as she illuminates so lovely in these Christmas standards plus. This includes “O Holy Night,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.” I mean, hell, I want to bake cookies right now but I can barely avoid burning a frozen pizza! But alas…

I believe in finding a great Christmas (or Holiday) album each year to embrace those memories, and this year’s pick is Underwood’s My Gift. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, and something that I’ll personally crank up Christmas morning, shaking the shingles off the roof as the world continues to burn. I like to think Santa Claus will do a quick two-step tap dance with a smile and give us a ‘You’ve been good’ pass on this shitty year with all the critical political meanderings ensuing before dropping his bag full of goodies living-room-wide and launching off into Santa Claus space again. Lord have mercy, have faith.

The highlight of My Gift is found in the Southern Baptist-tinged anthem “Let There Be Peace,” and with a Christ-loving gospel choir, it goes a little something like this: “Let there be peace, let there be love, let there be joy for you and me” – it gets the heart a-pumping without skipping a “Little Drummer Boy” beat. I pray for everyone to have a Merry Christmas and if you can make a difference in the community by giving back to others, please do. I believe in a God and you can call it whatever you want as long as you believe, and that’s what My Gift is simply saying.

I hope that in all this bleakness the power above can reach every one of our hearts and they can beat in unison for one glorious morning, trumpeting how blessed our lives truly are. Come midday and we go our separate ways, please remember the angelic vocals found on Underwood’s newest album to help you fly high into the New Year.

Happy Holidays, Y’all!

My Gift Track Listing:

1. Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee
2. O Come, All Ye Faithful
3. Let There Be Peace
4. The Little Drummer Boy
5. Sweet Baby Jesus
6. Hallelujah
7. O Holy Night
8. Mary, Did You Know?
9. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
10. Away in a Manger
11. Silent Night

Run Time: 34:07
Release Date: September 25, 2020
Record Label: Capitol Records Nashville

I was born in the late 60's amongst hippies and bikers. Cut my teeth on 70's rock and roll surrounded by motorheads and potheads, and in the 80's spread my wings and flourished as a guitarist. In the 90's I became a semi-professional musician knocking on death metals door, as well as entering the world as a freelance writer. In the 2000's I moved to Hollywood and watched the music industry crumble in front of my dreams and then took a break. Now, in the early 2020s I'm ready to rock again… or swing, blues, bluegrass, country, jazz, classical, etc. Its not so much a job to me anymore, but a great way to express myself and have a good time, and, "I know, its only rock and roll but I like it".