For the sixth year in a row, a special Christmas album is being issued to benefit Special Olympics. This year, for the first time, the release is devoted to works by country artists.
A Very Special Acoustic Christmas (Lost Highway) presents new, original and traditional holiday works by a wide array of artists including Willie Nelson, Reba McEntire, Alison Krauss, Alan Jackson, Patty Loveless, Wynonna, Rhonda Vincent, Pat Green, Ralph Stanley, Earl Scruggs, Marty Stuart, Ricky Skaggs, Sam Bush, Dan Tyminski, Tift Merritt and jazz/country stylist Norah Jones.
This series of albums, created by Interscope Records president Jimmy Iovine as a tribute to his father, has raised over $60 million to fund Special Olympics, which creates sports training and athletic opportunities for legions of mentally challenged athletes.
Krauss, who picked her own "Only You Can Bring Me Cheer (Gentleman's Lady)" for the album said to CMT.News, "Every year for the last I'm guessing 10, 15 years, my brother and I every Christmas when we come home, we write a Christmas song and so we had kind of this vat of Christmas songs that we could do. So, we picked one, my brother and I that we made up many years ago, and it's just a lot of fun. We got to do it for the first time for real instead of just in the basement and waking my mom and dad up to come hear it. So, that was really fun."
Tyminski, a member of Union Station who came to fame in the soundtrack for O Brother, Where Art Thou?, recorded "Frosty the Snowman" and said it was a special joy for him. "My kids are 6, 8 and 10, and I wanted to do something for a Christmas album especially that they would enjoy," he told CMT.News. "That's one of the songs that I know when it comes on, that brings a lot of excitement. I know it did for me as a kid and it did for them, and they were kind of my guinea pigs. When I first got the song, they were the first ones I played it for. And to see the smile on their faces when they started singing along made me feel great about doing 'Frosty'."
Tracks on A Very Special Acoustic Christmas are:
"Silent Night" by McEntire; "Frosty the Snowman" by Tyminski;
"Please Come Home for Christmas" by Nelson; "Just Put a Ribbon in Your Hair" by Jackson; "Only You Can Bring Me Cheer (Gentleman's Lady)" by Krauss; "Even Santa Claus Gets the Blues" by Stuart; "Jingle Bells" by Scruggs; "Christmas is Near" by Stanley; "O Come All Ye Faithful" by Loveless; "O Holy Night" by Wynonna; "Winter Wonderland" by Green; "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" by Bush; "Away in a Manger" by Skaggs; "Christmas Time at Home" by Vincent; "I'll be Home for Christmas" by Merritt; and "Peace" by Jones.