Now... it’s Christmas (again)

John Murray
John Murray
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Hark! It’s Christmas and John Murray checks two new releases

I should have expected a flood of Christmas albums after all we will be in December in just a few days (ouch). The Now Christmas album has been on our telly screens for at least a fortnight and bookies are tipping Susan Boyle to top the chart with O Come All Ye Faithful from her album Home For Christmas (Syco). The single is an electronic duet with Elvis Presley and all in aid of her charity Save The Children. Her fifth album also has a duet with Johnny Mathis on his big hit When A Child Is Born and The Overtones join her on Little Drummer Boy. Christmas Guitars (LongMan), from Richard Durrant is a refreshing change then. A concert career guitarist he plays electric & acoustic, ukulele, mandolin, mandola, 12 string and a variety of keyboard instruments. Reminds me of Mike Oldfield really with guitar based compositions and overdubs especially on the gorgeous picture painting original that is An Acoustic Winter Solstice. There are twee moments too though with nativity voices on All The Animals but full of warm charm with This World Needs To Sing and surely a coup as the voice of comedy writer and broadcaster Barry Cryer (in the absence of Viv Stanshall) narrates The Polar Bear, a five piece suite. The angelic vocals of Amy Kakoura makes A Northern Winter Night special and she is currently touring with Richard in support of his album but sadly no Scottish dates this time around.With another hot single out this week with James Bond overtones I Belong To You, Caro Emerald continues her rise with a 2CD edition of her album The Shocking Miss Emerald (Dramatico). CD 1 has the original album plus bonus tracks while CD 2 has live tracks taken from the UK tour.