A Harp Guitar Music Recording


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Stephen Bennett, John Doan, William Eaton, Stacy Hobbs & Gregg Miner
Christmas Past: Holiday Harp Guitar Classics

Track Listings

1. Joy to the World                                  Stacy Hobbs
2. Infant King                                          John Doan          
3. Bring a Torch, Jeannette, Isabella        Gregg Miner
4. Silver Bells                                          Stephen Bennett       
5. O Come All Ye Faithful                         Stacy Hobbs      
6. White Christmas                                 Gregg Miner              
7. Jolly Old King Wenceslas                      John Doan
8. Christmas Time Is Here                       Gregg Miner
9. In the Bleak Midwinter                         Stephen Bennett
10. We Three Kings                                 William Eaton
11. Carol of the Bells                               John Doan
12. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear           Stacy Hobbs
13. The Angel's First Noel                        John Doan
14. Welcome Christmas                           Gregg Miner
15. Auld Lang Syne                                  Stephen Bennett
16. We Wish You a Merry Christmas         Stacy Hobbs

From Gregg Miner's liner notes: "My original concept for this CD was “The Best of” Christmas Past.   I hope you’ll agree that I have chosen the best representative tracks from what I believe are the only holiday recordings to feature harp guitar ever recorded (up to November, 2005, when Stephen Bennett surprised us with his second Christmas CD!)Largely unaware of each other while creating their five historic albums, these five musicians have since become friends and cohorts in the growing harp guitar movement.  I could think of nothing more inspiring for the first holiday release of Harp Guitar Music than bringing these timeless chestnuts together in a new Christmas package. – Gregg Miner, September, 2006"

"Great compilations provide the best holiday music in so many ways. First, they purport to select the winning tracks from past albums--the cream of the crop. In this respect, the compiler effectively pans for treasure, presenting listeners with the resulting gold nuggets. Second, music fans who are new to a particular genre are unlikely to know which artist(s) to choose, and the compilation provides a glorious buffet of options. Sometimes, when the compilation is good enough, it may not even be necessary to delve beyond the compilation into the individual releases.
For me, 2007 has been the year of the harp guitar. Just in the past few weeks, I have reviewed excellent harp guitar releases by Muriel Anderson and Gregg Miner (Miner plays on more than just the harp guitar--take a peek at the review). If you enjoy the wonderful warmth of acoustic instrumentals when that special season rolls around, then Christmas Past: Holiday Harp Guitar Classics should be an obvious top choice. If you are not certain what a harp guitar is or sounds like, just think acoustic guitar with an extra neck holding harp strings for plucking.
Christmas Past sports five harp guitar talents, all very well regarded artists (I personally own recordings by four of the five, and now I'll have to find out more about the fifth!). William Eaton, Stephen Bennett, John Doan, Gregg Miner, and Stacy Hobbs are the fine musicians here, and the 16 recordings date from 1991-2002. Eaton only contributes one piece to this compilation, but his We Three Kings is the longest (well over five minutes); this mystical marvel also features R. Carlos Nakai's haunting Native American flute. This instrumental compilation is beautiful throughout; each piece is special. My personal favorites include Doan's superb Jolly Old King Wenceslas with its sweetly syncopated opening, and his intensely ethereal Carol of the Bells. Bennett's heartfelt Silver Bells, which gradually adds instrumental layers, and Miner's rollicking and transformative Christmas Time Is Here.
This album is a terrific introduction to the world of harp guitars, and even if you care not one whit about harp guitars, but want outstanding acoustic instrumentals for the holidays, then look no further. Christmas Past: Holiday Harp Guitar Classics is all the information you need! Just wonderful." © Carol Swanson, christmasreviews.com

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CDs & DVDs by Stephen Bennett, John Doan, Muriel Anderson, Andy McKee, Stacy Hobbs, Tom Shinness, Dan LaVoie, James Kline, Larry Berwald, Bill Dutcher, Gregg Miner, Pasquale Taraffo
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