Skip Ewing - Christmas
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Christmas (Self-released, 2021)

Skip Ewing

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

Skip Ewing's "Christmas" EP hits a lot of high marks, and it's only seven tracks long. However, by making all wise choices, Ewing has avoided disappointing the listener – even once – with his highly recommended seasonal offering.

Ewing has some fun, as Christmas should be a fun time, with "Mr. Snowman," a kind of big band swinger. His "Better Watch Out," announces the arrival of Santa Claus over a percussive acoustic guitar rhythm. Although Ewing doesn't exactly rap its verses, he doesn't really sing them either. It's, well, a melodic spoken word piece.

Ewing gets serious, though, with the piano ballad "Just A Kid," which tells the Christmas story with keen observation. "Whenever A Child Is Born" talks about Jesus' birth in a way every parent can relate. God was there when Jesus was born, literally, but God is also there at every human birth, as well. "Christmas Carol" is also a heart-tugger about a little girl with serious family problems. It's sung over a lovely, traditional country music arrangement.

Ewing's release also scores points for what it doesn't include, which are the many overly familiar Christmas songs trotted out every year – whether we want to hear them or not. Everything here is fresh. Even when Ewing does a well-known song, though, as with "I'll Be Home For Christmas," he works in the patriotic "America the Beautiful," which is why he's renamed it "I'll Be Home (An American Christmas)."

We don't give our friends and family the exact same gifts every year for Christmas, so why should we recreate the same old Christmas songs each December? Skip Ewing shows us how to make "Christmas" special and unique for 2021.

CDs by Skip Ewing

Christmas, 2021

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