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Comfort & Joy

5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 13, 2009
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 13, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Koch Records
  • ASIN: B002MT3BIK
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #316,883 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
I too have been a John Cowan fan for years. And I agree, it's all about his voice. This is without a doubt the best recording of his voice I've ever heard. It floats above the instruments, sometimes powerful and booming, sometimes gentle and lilting, always sweet and clear, with breathtaking notes hanging suspended and a tiny yodel that makes me giggle every time I hear it. More importantly, it perfectly captures his essence and his spirit--close your eyes and you're standing next to him on stage!

Once you've listened enough times to be sated by his voice, you'll begin to notice the exquisite musicianship of his band and his guests. John Cowan has always had a knack for picking superb musicians, and his current band may well be his best yet. When you get a chance to see them perform, you can't help but notice the respect and camaraderie among them. You can hear and feel it on this CD--that intangible warmth underlying the music.

For me, the most surprising thing about it is that my favorite song isn't "O Holy Night" or "Ave Maria", stunning as they are. It's "Good News". There is something really magical about the uplifting vibration of this song. When I was feeling stressed about an upcoming job interview, I played it over and over on the way to the interview. When I got there, I felt totally confident and calm and got the job. The same happened when I was waiting for the sale of my house to close and was worried about all the things that could make it fall through. I listened to Good News over and over, and the fear just disappeared. It closed without incident. It is the best mood enhancer I've ever heard. Somehow your vibration is entrained by the vibration of the song and you can't stay mad or sad or scared.
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Let me first state that I am a John Cowan fan, so I am not an impartial observer. I have been a fan of John's since his Newgrass Revival days and am amazed by his talent and dedication to playing his own "brand" of acoustic music. When people go to a John Cowan show, they know he will have amazing musicians and terrific songs to entertain the crowd...they also know they are there for "THE VOICE." Every Cowan fan would tell you that his voice is what made them a fan! The "Comfort and Joy" CD is the PERFECT vehicle to showcase JC's VOICE! From the opening, "Christmas Everyday" to "Go Tell it on the Mountain," you are drawn into the story that he is weaving. You can tell Cowan is excited about this "gift" of Christmas songs and the method of delivery!! There's not a bad song on the CD and his incorporating the vocal talents of several of his friends, like Mike Farris, Bekka Bramlett and Bonnie Bramlett, along with a terrific song written by his step-daughter, Jenny Anne Mannan, "Little Match Girl" that Mannan sings harmony vocals on, shows this CD is about relationships and family! Kind-of like Christmas! :) I am a Christmas CD fanatic, I have 100's of them. Only 1 do I use to decorate the Christmas tree, an old Elvis CD. This year, it will be "Comfort and Joy!" Hope you'll check it out and buy several as gifts, your friends will thank you for it! Merry Christmas! p.s. John's version of "Ave Maria" is worth the cost of the CD alone! Even I was amazed at the range he shows on the song and the serious approach he took to make it a classic. He didn't trivialize the song, he really sang it with technique and breath control. Rock on, JC!
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I've been listening to John's work for many many years. This one is real ear candy at this time of the year. My favorites are Match Stick Girl that was written by John's step daughter and who also sings the duet with him. The other is God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - sure to become a classic in arrangements. John has always played with stellar musicians, and this one is no exception. He's recently added Bryon Larrance on drums which completes the current sound. Another highlight of the CD is Mike Ferris who joins on Let's Make a Baby King - knock your socks off stuff. Buy this CD!!!!!!
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Outstanding album by a great artist. Wonderful way to celebrate the season. John Cowan just gets better all the time.
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If you don't know John Cowan's music, this is a great one to introduce yourself with. I love John's music and especially his singing. Just an excellent CD!! Great instrumentation!
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