Intro: About the Artist: Burns hails from Las Vega Nevada. This is her latest release entitled A Winter Gathering. Burns describes her latest musical venture, the Celtic flavored A Winter Gathering, as a new journey for her–a collection of newfangled holiday carols and original songs performed by her with her husband, drummer James Clark (who also co-produces) and guest performers Caroline Kemper (Celtic harp), Rick Kemper (Uilleann pipes & pennywhistle), Lindsey Springer (cello), Ryan Whyte Maloney (guitar, backing vocals) and a five piece vocal choir. Bringing unique new elements and sounds to her trademark style, Burns offers new twists to classic songs like “Carol of the Bells,” “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” and “Silent Night” and includes three short original “breath point” pieces she calls “Songscapes.” She includes “White Christmas” as a tribute to her mother Joyce (who always played and sang it at holiday times when Burns was growing up) and also a compelling rendition of Clark’s favorite song “What A Wonderful World.” Review: “A Winter Gathering has much to commend it. Admittedly, there is a whole lot of variety to these arrangements and performances. First: Burns’ impressive band delivers rock solid playing like a well oiled machine. This is testament to hundreds of hours of rehearsal time no doubt. Second: Burns’s voice and overall look hit the mark remarkably well. She has the attributes required of an effective singer/songwriter. Third: her sound and the amazing combination her voice with Celtic overtones are impressive. All songs are a skillful combination of Celtic Folk against a Christmas theme. Burns’ voice will remind you of Shania Twain, Jewel, Carrie Underwood, Martina McBride and even Celine Dion. Burns has the voice and overall appeal (visually and vocally) to be extremely dangerous. There is also a unique quality to this catalogue that breaks the mold when compared to the mundane pop-rock that’s been filling the airwaves lately. What am I trying to say — well let m start by saying there is nothing fake and superficial about A Winter Gathering. Not every square inch is filled with musical ambience delivered under duress — but musical space this allows the music to breathe on its own with passion that cannot be faked. Equally as impressive is how marketable this catalogue truly is for the Holiday season. It covers so much ground and despite this it manages to not spread itself to thin across to many lines — nice touch. I’ve always said if you can play it a party, then it’s marketable. The music is extremely marketable —when played in the right setting. All 12 tracks will genuinely lift your spirits unlike most music you hear on the radio these days.
Favorite Tracks: The Gathering, Winter Star, Carol of the Bells
Heather Savage edited by Michael Rand
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