If there is anything to get country music fans in the holiday spirit, it's BlackHawk's Christmas album, The Spirit of Christmas. The 10-track record features all traditional Christmas classics, including "Silent Night," "The First Noel" and "Hark the Herald Angels Sing." It marks the first Christmas record for BlackHawk members Henry Paul and Dave Robbins, although it's something they have been wanting to do for years.
"Well, we had the idea for a while," Paul told PopCulture.com. "We were doing over 100 dates a year, so it's kind of like we're really covered up and busy, but we one day just went off and started the process of recording it. We wanted to do something different and something our own.
"We didn't know how much time we had left, before we go see Jesus," quipped Robbins.
With BlackHawk's busy touring schedule, carving out time to record The Spirit of Christmas was a challenge, and a lengthy one. Paul and Robbins actually started the process in the summer of 2018, fitting in studio dates when they could.
"It just was something that we wanted to do," explained Paul. "We have The Best of BlackHawk acoustic double live record coming this spring, early summer. We have a new studio record to cut next year, so music, it's kind of like Alan Jackson's 'I made it up to Music Row / Lordy don't the wheels turn slow.' There's just no quick way to do anything. You gotta get ten people, and it's just slow. But we're in no hurry, because we really don't have anywhere specific we gotta be."
One thing that is absent from The Spirit of Christmas is festive holiday songs that have little to do with the Christmas story from the Bible –– and intentional move by both Paul and Robbins.
"A lot of the thought for us goes into, 'What is it gonna sound like in three-part harmony? 'Cause everything's gonna be three-part," Robbins explained. "That's where we start; we start picking these songs, and go, 'Can we sing that?' and we'll sing it together for a little bit to see if it works. But the idea for doing the sacred songs, of this time of year was, 'Let's don't do any 'Jingle Bells' or 'Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree' or 'All I Want For Christmas Is You,' and all that.
"Let's do something really reverent, somewhat, and acoustic-oriented," he added. "So that was a lot of the process too, was that this is going to be a really acoustic kind of record. It's not a big boom crash production. It's a very sensitive. A lot of time went into what we play on everything, every song."0comments
Purchase The Spirit of Christmas on BlackHawk's website.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Absolute Publicity