Quarantine Christmas Soundtrack (Music Thoughts: Comfort & Joy, Liz Callaway)

A new album by Liz Callaway is always a cause for celebration, and much more so if it is a Christmas album, her first one (though she released an EP a couple of years) This is also a duets album, with Peter Caro on guitar, and I can’t think of a voice more suited with a guitar than Liz’s.

And the songs are marvel, and in these solitary complicated times we are living in, much appreciated. You can hear the ache and tenderness in the season in all these tracks – a very hopeful ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ is much too welcome. When she sings ‘We’re apart, that’s true,’ from ‘Merry Christmas Darling, for example,’ the pain is almost unbearable.

And I think she has found herself a new signature tune (much like she kind of owns ‘Meadwlark’ now) with Dolly Parton’s ‘Hard Candy Christmas.’ I have seen her sing this version everywhere, and I haven;t gotten tired of it, and doubt if I will. The whole album is contemplative and perfect for your Christmas quarantine.

Liz Please (Stage Thoughts: Liz Callaway with Seth Rudetsky)

lizposThere have been so many of these live stream concerts nowadays I am honestly a little fatigued by them. But there are some I cannot resist, and Liz Callaway is one artist I will always see if I can, and it was so easy to tune in to The Seth Concert Series with her, with Seth Rudetsky on piano. As they pointed out, the difference with this is that she is singing live with Seth on piano, and as she admitted, she has not sung live since March, so of course she opens with he version of ‘As IF We Never Saud Goodbye,’ and indeed there is no one out there with a voice so clear and youthful than Callaway’s. It’s girlish but not immature, and it is inimitably made for show tunes. She sang showstopper after showstopper, with all of my favorites in there: ‘You There In The Back Row,’ ‘Since You Stayed Here,’  and ;The Story Goes On’ in there, just three of my absolute favorite songs of hers. I loved all the anecdotal side lights, including her stories while in the cast of ‘Merrily We Roll Along,’ and ‘Baby.’  More, more.