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SALLY COLE: Kelley Mooney and Heather Rankin release new Christmas CDs

Heather Rankin, left, is looking forward to sharing music from her new CD, “Imagine”, during the holiday season while Kelley Mooney holds her Christmas CD. She will be performing Christmas concerts in support of it this month. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Heather Rankin, left, is looking forward to sharing music from her new CD, “Imagine”, during the holiday season while Kelley Mooney holds her Christmas CD. She will be performing Christmas concerts in support of it this month. SUBMITTED PHOTO

With the hectic month of December upon us, sometimes it’s nice to kick back from the hectic pace and listen to some holiday music.

It’s what I like to do.

Think of it, while people are driving all over town, frantically looking for that perfect gift for that special someone, I prefer sitting in my living room, wearing my fuzzy slippers, sipping hot chocolate and tapping my toes to old and new tunes. (Ask me a couple of days before Christmas and you might get a different answer. I’m a procrastinator.)

That’s where I spent this past Monday night, sitting and listening to two new Christmas CDs on the market this year.

And here are my thoughts:

Kelley Mooney’s “Caroling” is a gift to fans who have been asking for a Christmas CD for quite a while now.

“It was time to do one. My first CD was country. The second one was gospel so I thought I might as well shake things up with a Christmas CD,” says Mooney, of the album that contains 14 songs ranging from traditional carols like "Silent Night" and "Angels We Have Heard on High" to contemporary tunes like "Mary Did You Know”.

Like a Christmas gift, there’s an element of wonder with this CD. Mooney surprises listeners with some special guests. Among them include the Atlantic String Machine who play on “Mary Did You Know?” and “What Child is This”, Richard Wood, who plays on “Oh Holy Night” and “Christmas Lullaby” and as well as Matt Anderson who lends his voice on the second track. “My Little Country Church at Christmastime is a song by Matt Anderson. He plays guitar and sings harmony on the track. Hearing his guitar work is just unbelievable and so is hearing his harmony voice with mine.”

Heather Rankin is making huge strides in her a solo career and her new holiday CD, “Imagine”, is a perfect example of her growing confidence.

“Since I’ve been back in the music touring mode I have been receiving invitations from other acts to guest in their Christmas shows,” says Rankin who, up to now, has been singing the music she arranged with her sisters on a record of 20 years ago.

“So it seemed like the obvious next step to have put my own stamp on songs that show how I celebrate the season how,” Rankin tells me.

As the result, her CD is elegantly eclectic – a mix of traditional and contemporary. And it comes with an evocative John Lennon cover, which is the title track.  

But the one I like best is “Wrap It Up”. Rankin tells me it’s a co-write with guitarist Jamie Robinson. And it comes with a funny story.

“The beginnings of this song came from an eggnog recipe gone bad…. It’s a song about letting go, having fun, celebrating the people you are with and making the best of things.”

  1. Upcoming shows

  2. Heather Rankin will perform songs from her new CD at Harmony House Theatre in Hunter River on Dec. 9 at 8 p.m.
  3. Website:  Go to http://heatherrankin.ca.
  4. Kelley Mooney will perform at Westisle High School in Ellerslie on Dec. 10, 7 p.m., Ceilidh in the City, Jack Blanchard Centre, 7:30 p.m., Dec. 13 and Island Jazz Christmas, Dec. 14, 8 p.m. Her CD is at Back Alley Records, Maritime Christian Bookstore and the Showcase.
  5. Website: Go to http://www.kelleymooney.com.
  6. Call in and win

    The question is: Name one of the special guests on Kelley Mooney’s Christmas CD?

    The prize: Christmas CD package with discs from Heather Rankin and Kelley Mooney.

    Last week’s winner: Sara Bell won a pair of tickets to last night’s Tomato/Tomato concert as well as a CD.

    To enter: Call The Guardian’s Phone and Win contest line at 902-629-1707.

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