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Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis

Happy Holidays – 2003 (Boar's Nest)

Reviewed by Brian Wahlert

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CDs by Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis

Remember country's leading couple, Tim and Faith, singing the heartrending "Angry All the Time"? Bruce Robison wrote that song, and it was Texas country's leading couple, Robison and wife Kelly Willis, who first recorded it. Now after five years of performing holiday concerts around Texas, they've released a seven-song holiday EP. It's a departure from the relatively traditional-sounding country music of their individual releases.

Willis, in particular, gets to stretch out quite a bit, clearly enjoying herself singing the torchy "Santa Baby" and then giving an understated, gorgeous performance of "In the Bleak Midwinter." Robison and Willis do a great job with the mischievous "Baby, It's Cold Outside" - in fact, Robison says, "We probably made this record just because we love singing 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' so much." Robison takes the lead on the evocative "A Winter's Tale," and Willis sounds great singing harmony.

This EP is only available in a few Texas record stores and on-line through the artists' web sites, but it's well worth seeking out.