A Very Prairie Christmas

very prairie cover 05Whistling Prairie, The Bush Family, includes Ed, Judy, Brittany, Amanda and Crystal These songs were performed at Frasier Meadows and the Oberon House, and recorded live in the Bush Basement in December 2005. The album was mixed and released in 2006.

1. Red Haired Divine Christ Child-This song celebrates the band’s beginnings as an instrumental band. It combines one of our favorite Irish folk tunes with a lively French Christmas Carol. Amanda and Crystal alternate the melody on violin and viola/Judy-banjo/ Brittany-bodhrán/Ed-bass

2. Christmas Dinner-Although this song was originally written and performed by Tennessee Ernie Ford, we first heard it on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Christmas album. It’s mouthwatering good. Ed leads out on the vocals (and bass)/Brittany-piano, vocals/Amanda-guitar, vocals/Crystal-dobro, vocals/Judy-banjo

3. Good Christian Men Rejoice-This seventeenth century carol made a good choice for an a cappella selection for the three girls. Amanda, Brittany, Crystal-vocals

4. Silver Bells-Fondly refered to as “Sewer Bells” because of our use of conduit pipe bells. This song has become a classic since it was first sung in 195l in the Bob Hope movie, the Lemon Drop Kid. Crystal and Brittany-bells, vocals/Amanda-violin/Judy-banjo/Ed-bass

5. I Believe in Santa Claus-The Bush girls grew up with this song. One of the first CDs Ed and Judy purchased together was this Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers Christmas album. Crystal-dobro, vocals/Brittany-mandolin, vocals/Amanda-guitar, vocals/Judy-banjo, vocals/Ed-bass, vocals

6. We Three Kings-Originally written in 1857 for a children’s Christmas pageant, this song is unusual that it starts in a minor key and ends in a major key. This was a perfect opportunity for the girls to solo on different instruments. Amanda-harp/Brittany-cello/Crystal-mountain dulcimer/Judy-finger cymbals/Ed-bass

7. Infant Holy, Infant Lowly-This lovely traditional Polish carol was translated into English in 1925. Brittany, Amanda, Crystal-vocals/Judy-piano

8. Los Peces en el Río-We first heard this traditional Spanish carol on a Mannheim Steamroller CD. The words talk about the fish in the river drinking and drinking to see the Christ child born. Amanda-harp, vocals/Brittany-mandolin, vocals/Crystal-viola, vocals/Judy-guitar/Ed-bass

9. Santa, Bring My Baby Back to Me-Written for and performed by Elvis Presley in 1957, this song was fun for the Bush girls to perform in three-part harmony. Brittany, Amanda, Crystal-vocals/Judy-piano

10. I Saw Three Ships/Bring a Torch Jeannette Isabella/Deck the Halls/Ding Dong Merrily On High-These four carols are combined here for an up-tempo instrumental number. Brittany-bodhrán/Amanda-fiddle/Crystal-viola/Judy-banjo/Ed-bass

11. Mary’s Lullaby-Elisa Beckman joins us as guest artist on this number. Her flute playing makes a lovely introduction to this beautiful lullaby. Brittany, Amanda, Crystal-vocals/Judy-guitar/Elisa Beckman-flute

12. Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy-Our first calypso song, we had fun with the rhythms of this piece.  Brittany-claves, vocals/Amanda-violin, vocals/Crystal-maracas, vocals/Judy-banjo, vocals/Ed-bass

13. Peace Peace/Silent Night-Our final number is an audience participation number. We sang this number many years in the Castlewood Canyon Ward choir. Ed and Judy sing the audience part (Silent Night) at the end. Brittany-mandolin, vocals/Amanda-violin, vocals/Crystal-viola, vocals/Judy-banjo, vocals/Ed-bass, vocals