For anyone young or old wishing to capture the magic of Christmas, the new album by Achill Island's James Kilbane is a must have this Christmas season.
Aptly entitled The Christmas Collection, the album is a heart warming mix of 14 all-time Christmas favourites with a country twist.
Released on the Gold Eagle music label, this is the seventh album from the Co Mayo singer who first came to public attention when he contested the final of RTE's You're a Star competition in 2004.
From the singer who was famously dubbed a "diamond in the rough" by Phil Coulter, this is an easy listening mellow collection featuring traditional carols ‘Away in a Manger’ and ‘The First Noel’, alongside well-known spiritual gems ‘You Raise Me Up’ and ‘There is a Place’.
Kilbane's natural home as a country singer can also be seen in the inclusion of some new Nashville tracks including ‘Sweet Mary Sing’, ‘Moments Like This’, and the very beautiful ‘One Holy Night’ which James co-wrote with Tennessee writers Nancy Peacock and Scott Lindsey.
Dedicated to his late father who passed away earlier this year, the album represents Kilbane's musical offering as his contribution to the celebration of Christmas.
"This album is very special for me. It's my first Christmas album and dedicated to my father who sadly passed way before it was completed. I hope that all who listen to the album find within the music the joy and peace they are seeking this Christmas," says James.
Recorded in the Caldron Studio, Dublin, The Doghaus Studio, Roscommon, and Absolute Music Studio, Co Kildare, the album was arranged and produced by James Kilbane with additional arrangements and production by Gavin Murphy.
James has assembled some of the country's top session musicians for this album including piano player Gavin Murphy, traditional fiddler Máire Breathnach, guitarist Bill Shanley, James Blennerhasset on bass, and drummer Des Lacey.
Smooth blending vocal harmonies are provided by Nigel Connell and Connor McKeon.
The Christmas Collection is now available nationwide and is also available for download on iTunes, Napster and Amazon.com