Frozen Fingers :: An American Primitive Holiday Meditation

Released in 1968, The New Possibility: John Fahey’s Guitar Soli Christmas Album kicked off a long-running micro-tradition of American Primitive holiday efforts. “I was in the back of a record store in July and I saw all these cartons of Bing Crosby’s White Christmas albums,” a typically cynical Fahey said of the LP’s origin. “The clerk said it always sells out. So I got the idea to do a Christmas album that would sell every year.” But there’s more to it than mere avarice.

Fingerpickers can’t seem to resist uncovering (or just plain inventing) the folk-blues roots of these timeworn melodies — just this year, Anthony Pasquarosa and Mark McGuire threw their hats into the ring for the VDSQ label. Whatever the motivation, it’s always nice to have an alternative to the treacly seasonal music that is inescapable this time of year. Frozen Fingers is playlist of (mostly) acoustic wintry music that’ll put a little wonder into the most wonderful time of the year… t wilcox

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