Christmas Music for The Rest of Us: Midwinter by Peter Mayer
- Category: Dad's Dirt Roads: A Blog
- on Sun Dec 6, 2009
- by Mark Stephens on Sun Dec 6, 2009 - Add comment
If "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and those cliché radio versions of "Silent Night" by country music superstars excite you as much as a bawling colicky newborn in the middle of the night, I might have a good choice for you.
Midwinter by Peter Mayer (www.petermayer.net) fills this particular void in my life every Christmas season. It's largely a reverent and creative collection of acoustic music, free and clear of corny holiday euphemisms and remakes. Most importantly, Mayer's Midwinter is all original music, which I find refreshing. And should you doubt the validity - or "Christmas-ee feeling" - of music that's not a traditional carol you're ripe for Midwinter. It'll do you good and pull you into the quiet and pleasant part of the season with the first notes of a French horn solo at the very beginning of the first track, "Stables," and as Mayer then sings:
In Bethlehem a manger waits
Long ago and so today
Where hatred-weary people pray
Love will come and lay there
(♫ click to listen)
I might enjoy my share of irreverent humor, heavy drink, and rock-n-roll, but after hearing Midwinter when it came out a few years ago, I consider Midwinter the benchmark for my holiday music: the regardful acoustic guitar playing, the original sacred lyrics, and the inclusion of varying instruments like mandolin and melodica.
Of all the tracks, "The Longest Night" moves me the most: "Gather friends" Mayer sings, "and cast your hopes / into the fire as it snows / And stare at God through the dark windows."
Recommended. Get your copy as soon as possible (or get it from iTunes): http://petermayer.net/music/?id=7