Click to enlargeHawaiian Slack Key Christmas

Hawaiian Slack Key Christmas is genre melding of the best sort: incredible guitar playing in the Hawaiian tradition dominates the disc, but the material is mostly familiar holiday carols. The result is a truly original and refreshingly low-key take on Christmas music. Keola Beamer's version of "Away in a Manger" is filled with jazzy bass touches; Led Kaapana and Bob Brozman's "Jingle Bells" is a hard-driving and virtuosic showpiece, with Brozman seemingly working the entire fretboard; and Bla Pahanui's arrangement of "O Come All Ye Faithful" is gorgeous and creative... That said, this is still a great album and a wonderful alternative for guitar lovers who've worn out their copies of John Fahey's legendary Christmas album. --Jason Verlinde

1. Jingle Bell Rock   8. Winter Wonderland
2. Joy To The World   9. The First Noel
3. Silver Bells   10. O Come All Ye Faithful
4. Away In A Manger   11. Holy! Holy! Holy!
5. Merry Christmas To You   12. We Wish You A Merry Christmas
6. My Hawaiian Christmas   13. O Holy Night
7. Jingle Bells   14. Auld Lang Syne
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