From National Public Radio -- Produced at 89.7 WKSU, Kent, Ohio
This program was conceived as a chance to have something fresh to listen to during the holidays. We offered singers and musicians the NPR network if they would record their own interpretation of a classic carol they've always loved, or put forward a new one. In either case, it was to be a recording not necessarily commercially available, even on their own CDs. Okay, a couple of songs are from CDs this year, but not many. Twenty-two songs are performances you've never heard before. Enjoy!
The artists did have fun. From Jonathan Edwards heading into a studio in Vermont and recording a swinging but still acoustic, fully produced version of "Jingle Bell Rock," to Bela Fleck sitting in our studio with nothing but his banjo and laying down a sweet and very original version of "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen," to Tony Trischka writing a song after playing The Kent State Folk Festival and then recording it just after midnight that same night, this idea bore some succulent fruit.
In the spirit of this "gang" Christmas show, many of the musicians joined in on our take-a-turn read of Clement Clark Moore's "The Night Before Christmas" which is featured near the end of the second hour.
The details of the songs featured in both hours follow...