Jerry Douglas

Jerry Christmas – 2009 (Koch)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Jerry Douglas

There aren't many holiday albums from Dobro players out there on the market. But Jerry Douglas is about the best Dobro player in the business, so you likely only need this solitary one. These 12 songs are of the acoustic variety and mostly instrumental.

However, the lovely Irish songstress, Maura O'Connell, lends her beautiful voice to New Year's Eve, and Douglas adds his "scary" vocal to a slightly dark interpretation of Santa Claus Is Coming to Town. Most tracks have the word "traditional" listed underneath them, although Maui Christmas is a Douglas original, with distinctly Hawaiian coloring.

This recording has an enjoyable consistency to it because Douglas has surrounded himself with the same musicians on almost every track. Doug Belote is the drummer, when drums are incorporated, and Luke Bulla plays violin, Todd Parks adds bass and Guthrie Trapp is the guitarist. Kirby Shelstadt provides percussion in places, and there are backing vocals during Santa Claus Is Coming To Town. But for the most part, it's one basic lineup from start to finish.

Douglas' music is like that favorite quality gift you get for Christmas: It's unpretentious, but guaranteed to last a good long time.