I am, I admit, a bit strange.
I listen to holiday music year-round, from Handel’s “Messiah” to Vince Guaraldi.
This summer — yes, summer — I got hooked on Dave McKenna’s “Christmas Party: Holiday Piano Spiked with Swing,” 16 songs, 59 minutes of cool solo piano.
Two weeks ago, NPR played an interview with Nick Lowe and he sang “Christmas at the Airport” from his new Christmas CD “Quality Time.” And I was smitten. To my shame, I wasn’t familiar with him, didn’t know he was Johnny Cash’s son-in-law. But I just love this album, except one klinker of a track. He reminds me a lot of the aging rocker Bill Nighy played in “Love Actually” and “Still Crazy.” (Nighy was one of my favorite interviews.)
Another new Christmas CD that’s getting heavy rotation comes from another of my favorite interview subjects: Liz Callaway.
The Tony nominee’s new Christmas EP, “Merry and Bright” is short, sweet and stylish — five songs, from “Joy to the World” to “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” — and is full of family connections: Her sister, Ann Hampton Callaway, and son, Nicholas Callaway Foster, share credits. Liz’s voice is so pure it almost aches.
All are available on iTunes and Amazon.