21 favorite Christmas carols played on authentic 19th century popular instruments from Victorian America. The timeless tradition of carols, the sweet nostalgia: John Doan returns us to an ideal Christmas warmly remembered, lovingly retold. John Doan's signature harp guitar joins with turn-of-the-century parlor guitar, classical banjo, mandolin, violin, viola, cello, sleigh bells and toy piano to recreate a rich amber home-by-the-fire aura typical of Christmas in the Victorian era. Imaginative new arrangements weave these familiar melodies into new creations. Vernacular sounds evoke the time when evergreens first came indoors and the tradition of hanging ornaments began. It was a time when Americans had to make music if they wanted to hear it.
In sixteen pages of carefully researched and lovingly written notes Doan shows a deep understanding of the carols and gives insights into the history of the instruments. His stories amuse and enlighten: discover how a hungry mouse humbled what was supposed to be the magnificent debut performance of "Silent Night" - and what "auld lang syne" really means.
Doan groups the carols in new ways: Carols of Kings, Carols of Birth, Carols of Joy, "O" Carols, Carols of Night, Carols of Bells & Farewells. He invites his listeners to journey back through the images of each carol and experience the scenes unfolding anew: The three Carols of Kings come together like the three magi, each a different color and race, converging from distant lands upon a starlit scene; a traditional carol whose joyous hand drum rhythms recall the Christmas birth in a land close to North Africa; and the quintessential image - a lone infant ... wrapped in white ... nestled in a manger, heralded by angels as "the light of the world."