Chet Atkins was considered to be a country music artists, but he was every bit as much a contemporary jazz guitarist as he was country. Incorporating his fluid finger picking style with a bit of country twang, he helped create what became known as “The Nashville Sound”, bringing a more a more mainstream audience to the genre.
“Christmas With Chet Atkins” is one of my all-time favorite Christmas albums and one of my favorites by “The Country Gentleman’, as Chet was often referred to as. Vocals on the songs are sparse, as it focuses more on his guitar stylings which lean more towards his jazz side; a joyful mix of traditional arrangements interspersed with a mix of improvisational phrasings and flourishes. It is as relaxing as it is enticing to listen to; a perfect hot cocoa and fireplace kind of album.
I almost wish “Christmas With Chet Atkins” wasn’t a Christmas album. I could listen to it year round, but it seems odd listening to Christmas songs outside of the season. So it’s only this time of year that this record makes it onto my turntable. Then again, I guess it gives me something else to look forward to every Christmas season.
Merry Christmas from The Vinyl Jungle.