Deana Carter,
Father Christmas
(Rounder, 2001)

Deana Carter could have been a major country star if she had been content to stick to a formula that worked. Having sold millions of copies of Did I Shave My Legs for This?, her 1996 release, and following the success of the single "Strawberry Wine," she tried something different for her second album. The public didn't buy it in large enough quantities and Deana disappeared -- until the release of Father Christmas.

Without a record label at the time, Deana recorded this seasonal album with her father in his own studio. He played guitar while Deana sang -- no outside musicians were called upon. The result is a lovely acoustic album that shows off Deana's warm voice to best effect. Many of the songs are well-worn standards -- "I'll Be Home for Christmas," "Blue Christmas," "Let It Snow," "Winter Wonderland" -- but here they sound fresh and different, without all the musicians that you find on other Christmas albums.

I am sad that Deana is no longer wanted by the major labels, but this album is fascinating in it's own way. It will never sell in huge quantities, but its simplicity is refreshing. Home-produced albums of true quality (such as this) are rare, but Deana is an exceptionally talented singer.

- Rambles
written by Peter D. Harris
published 8 November 2003

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