Online since August 2002

Traditional, yet different

Reviewed December 2007

The 25th Day of December
The 25th Day of December
By the Staple Singers

Riverside / Concord Records: 2007

To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing its Amazon.com entry.

If you're looking for something different than your standard Christmas carol collection, the Staple Singers' gospel-infused holiday release from 1962, now reissued on CD, is about as different as one can get while still remaining focused on Christmas.

While the lyrical content of many of the dozen songs are firmly about Christmas, they have, for the most part, a Sunday morning revival meeting tone to them more so than a yuletide feel. "The Last Month of the Year," "Go Tell it On the Mountain" and "Wasn't That a Mighty Day" would all fit in comfortably at church service anytime during the year. Only "Silent Night" and "O Little Town of Bethlehem" are from the traditional holiday canon, and even here, the Staples' gospel inclinations flavor the performance. But given Mavis' soaring vocals and Roebuck's deep baritone grounding, that's hardly a bad thing.

Review by Jim Trageser. Jim is a writer and editor living in Escondido, Calif., and was a contributor to the "Grove Press Guide to Blues on CD" (1993) and "The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Blues" (2005).

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