Thursday, November 29, 2001

Review - Sacred Steel for the Holidays

Artist: The Campbell Brothers

Posted on Thu, Nov 29, 2001 at 4:00 AM

Sacred Steel for the Holidays
Label: Arhoolie Records
Media: CD
Format: Album
WorkNameSort: Sacred Steel for the Holidays

As the formerly secular Sacred Steel movement continues its way into the mainstream, it's not surprising to see The Campbell Brothers jumping into the spirit of Christmas enterprise. The thoroughly credible outfit was one of the first to jump out of the church and into the music halls with its signature, gospel-praising pedal steel guitar sounds.

Unfortunately, "Sacred Steel for the Holidays" is not a roof-raising affair. A mixture of instrumental and lyrical offerings, the collection of 11 traditional songs is restrained for a group that sets bodies into motion in a live setting. There are no standouts, but the strengths are the festive, jazzy instrumental "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and the vocally pleasing "Christmas Song." Only the "Dreydl Song" comes off as a forced intruder.

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