The familiar booming baritone of Trace Adkins will be heard in a different musical celebration during the upcoming holiday season as he mixes things up a bit with his new album, The King’s Gift.
The Louisiana native has gone Celtic, y’all.
The album puts a new spin on traditional country holiday albums with acoustic and steel guitars working with instruments like uilleann pipes, pennywhistles, the viola and even a harp to create a fresh, new sound. And though I’m not entirely sure why Adkins decided to pursue this musical route, before we ask why, let’s think outside the perfectly-wrapped Christmas box and say, “Why not?”
It’s an opportunity for Adkins to flex his musical muscles a bit after focusing his career interests elsewhere (including movies and television) and releasing Love Will …, an album of love songs earlier this year. Plus, it was a chance to work with some incredible Nashville musicians who might never have crossed his path otherwise.
“I’ve been making records in this town for 18 years now, and there are people that came in to work on this record that I met for the first time — and they live here!” Adkins said in a recent interview. “But they’re very specialized and they do these things.”
At this stage in his professional life, Adkins has pretty much seen and done it all. So it’s high time he gets to do whatever he wants to do. He felt like it was time to try something a little different. And if there was ever a time to incorporate the Irish and Scottish vibes into your music, well, the holiday season seems perfect. Truly, I can almost smell the Christmas pines and feel the cold in my bones now just thinking about it.
The King’s Gift, which was released Tuesday (Oct. 29), features his Celtic renditions of “We Three Kings,” “Away In a Manger” and “What Child Is This” among others favorites.