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Christmas at the Ranch


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Audio CD, September 23, 2008
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Ave MariaBen Keith & Friends 6:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. We Will Rock You [Rocking]Ben Keith & Friends 2:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Silver BellsBen Keith & Friends 3:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. It Came Upon A Midnight ClearBen Keith & Friends 3:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Little Drummer BoyBen Keith & Friends 6:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Christmas Time's A Comin'Ben Keith & Friends 2:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Les Trois ClochesBen Keith 4:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. O SanctissimaBen Keith & Friends 3:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Away In A MangerBen Keith & Friends 2:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Blue ChristmasBen Keith & Friends 4:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. GreensleevesBen Keith & Friends 6:27$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 23, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Vapor Records
  • ASIN: B001CVCBVM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #246,850 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

From legendary pedal steel guitarist and producer Ben Keith comes this album, originally released in 1994 under the title "Seven Gates: A Christmas Album By Ben Keith & Friends". This re-mastered re-issue features beautiful renditions of Christmas classics with performances by J.J. Cale, Johnny Cash, Nicolette Larson, and Neil and Pegi Young, among others. It also contains a new version of "Les Trois Cloches" and added vocals.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Peter Durward Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on December 13, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I have to confess that when I saw this locally among the Christmas albums, I didn't recognize the name, although the album's title suggested that as a country music fan, I needed to investigate further. When I did, I realized that this album was, at least for me, irresistible. Ben Keith is, of course, a musician and record producer with a long and distinguished career, especially supporting Neil Young but also much else besides. Ben's name appears among the credits on plenty of my albums, yet only now have I come to realize his significance.

Ben Keith plays dobro, vibes and slide guitar, but mostly he plays the steel guitar. He is joined by a stellar cast of musicians and singers. About half the tracks are instrumentals, but I would have been happy if it had been a wholly instrumental album. Whether that would have made it a better album, I don't know, but the inclusion of vocalists probably encourages healthier sales.

This album was originally released in 1994 as Seven gates. Perhaps the tracks have been re-mastered, but exactly what differences there are between that release and this re-titled album are not clear, since the track listings and there is nothing within the booklet to explain any changes.

Most of the tunes are instantly recognizable, as they are so much a part of Christmas, but there are exceptions. Les trois cloches, given its original French title, is nevertheless sung in English by Neil Young. You probably know it better with its English language title The three bells. It was a huge hit in the late fifties for the Browns in Britain and America, but I don`t recall finding it on another Christmas album. We will rock you (rocking) is a traditional English carol but I don't come across recordings of it very often.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MusicFilm Fan on November 6, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I haven't heard the remastered and revised version of Ben Keith's Christmas album yet -- originally called "Seven Gates" but now retitled "Christmas at the Ranch" -- but I know the original album well and really love it. I would expect the new version to be at least as good, if not better.

Ben, the long-time pedal steel and slide guitarist for Neil Young, apparently always wanted to add some new elements to the original album, and once he did so, he gave the revised version a new title, to distinguish it from the original release.

Neil Young, as well as J.J. Cale, Neil's wife Pegi Young, Johnny Cash, Nicolette Larson, and Rusty Kershaw are among the guests.

The tracks are split between instrumental and vocal versions, with the singing handled by Ben's guests. This is no cheesy "guest star" album, though -- Mr. Keith has done an outstanding job of creating an album that's stylistically and thematically consistent throughout. The style is a gentle country/folk sound, and the theme is, of course, Christmas.

As you've probably seen, the song selections include both well-known Christmas classics (Silver Bells, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, Greensleeves/What Child Is This) as well as less well-known but beautifully performed songs like We Will Rock You (Rocking) [not the Queen song of similar title] and Christmas Time's A-Comin', which maintain the holiday feeling. Little Drummer Boy is, if I remember correctly, a vocal duet between Johnny Cash and Neil Young, and it's one of the best versions of this song (better than even Johnny's own solo version).

I highly recommend this beautiful holiday album conceived by a master musician, Ben Keith.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Ben Keith does a great job along with many of his (neil and pegi young) arranging, and singing traditional christmas carols. The steel guitar is awsome. I myself, do not particulary like most country music, but this is mellow. I recommend this to country music lovers as well as fans of Ben Keith and Neil Young.
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