This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 11/02
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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It is that time of the year once more. But luckily for us, Darryl Purpose, in his good taste, has saved us from such one-time wonders as "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" or a duet (or should it be quintet?) with Alvin and the Chipmunks.
Purpose's recently released CD of holiday-related songs contains a mix of those borrowed from established folksingers and others from more unknown artists.
Purpose's guitar-backed introductions to some of the songs is a nice touch. He opens a few of the cuts with brief guitar interludes of more recognizable holiday carols before launching into the featured tune. His guitar work throughout the release deserves kudos. He is a masterful player.
What works the best is Dave Carter's sweetly sentimental "American Noel," John McCutcheon's humanistic "Christmas In The Trenches," and Christopher Smith's quietly subversive "Mary and Joe." Smith sees greater value in learning from the lives and relationship of the biblical Mary and Joseph than Jesus.
The messages of Peter Mayer's "Holy Now," Kevin Faherty's "The Perfect Revenge," and Purpose's and co-writer Mary Sue Twohy's "Gift Of The Magi," are appropriate for any time of the year. Mayer speaks of a spiritual expansion towards greater inclusiveness, Faherty's song is one of healthy forgiveness and Purpose/Twohy tells a tale of true selflessness.
"You Must Go Home For Christmas" by Purpose and Robert Morgan Fisher is a cut that all who have experienced familial detachment will appreciate.
Purpose's version of Dar Williams' "The Christians And The Pagans" lacks the crispness and rhythm of the original but is a deservedly 'must- include' on any folk holiday release.
All the cuts are in the political and spiritual spirit of the principles and beliefs Purpose has previously presented in his music. If only "I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus" or "Frosty The Hitman" had made the cut. Sigh.
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