Celtic Christmas is an enchanting collection of Celtic music from Ireland, Scotland, England, Canada and United States. Celtic Christmas offers Celtic interpretations of Christmas classics along with an original recording. The collection begins with the joyful singing of The Albion Christmas Band on Here We Come A-Wassalling, and moves into Charles T. Cozen s instrumental version of O Come, O Come Emmanuel. The Gothard Sisters update the classic Little Drummer Girl with fiddle and guitar, while DruidStones rendition of the French carol Noel Nouvelet features harp and harmonious vocals. David Huntsinger adds an original Celtic twist on the classic Angels We Have Heard On High while Charles T. Cozens returns with a flute-driven take on Good King Wenceslas. Next comes Lasairfhíona Ní Chonaola s original Gaelic recording of Nollaig Bhan, (White Christmas). Steve Schuch & The Night Heron reinterpret the seasonal classic Joy To The World with playful sounds from the mandolin, while Áine Minogue incorporates the harp and mandolin on Jezebel Carol. David Arkenstone s God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen features flute and strings, and Dougie MacLean closes out the collection with a soulful Scottish rendition of Auld Lang Syne.
Out come the fiddles, harps, accordions and penny whistles for Celtic Christmas, as singers and groups like Aine Minogue, David Arkenstone and DruidStone arrange Celtic and American holiday songs and a French one, Noel Nouvelet for (mostly) traditional instruments. There's even a White Christmas in Gaelic. It s a cozy, folksy collection, mingling instrumental and vocal tracks. And it reclaims a wistful side in Dougie MacLean's version of Auld Lang Syne. --Jon Pareles, The New York Times, December 22, 2011