For me to even consider reviewing a Christmas album it has to be good! I’ll admit I’m not normally a fan of such albums but Micah P. Hinson has honed a bit of a classic with Wishing for a Christmas Miracle which also happens to be the first Christmas album from the fine folks at Yellow Bird Project who collaborate with indie bands to raise money for various charities. Micah P Hinson chose a Children’s Home in Keller, Texas to support with this release.
The albums instrumental opener Silent Night Reprise with Hinson’s lonesome tremelo guitar conveys a real sorrow rather than your joyous full of cheer norm which is not that surprising considering his typically country noir songs a trait that is backed up by the following tragi-comedy: Please Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas).
His Pièce de résistance is his rendition of Silent Night, this is one of the most beautiful versions I’ve heard, something I never thought I’d bring myself to say on Folk Radio UK. Maybe I’m gettind soft in my old age but when the family join in with the chorus you’d have to be a real miserable grump not to feel the urge to shed a tear or two. He told YBP that since a child he always felt that it was a haunting and strange song, and that like most gospel songs has an odd sadness to it…he captures the sentiment of that spirit perfectly.
Things get old-timey with Leaning On The Everlasting Arms, an old hymn that was first published in 1887 which he delivers in the spirit of Johnny Cash & June Carter albeit with the voice of a grizzled sounding Woody Guthrie.
The finale of the album is Silent Night (Wall-Gaze Remix) which you can download for free below but a word of note: The songs on this album are not like this one (this is them having a bit of fun) and if you want a modern day Christmas classic to pull out and play every year then this is it…the album will be on my turntable every Christmas…guaranteed!
A Letter from Micah P Hinson
Wishing for a Christmas Miracle it rarely ever snowed where i was raised, out there in the desert of Texas. maybe when i was a tiny little lad, but without the white blanket being spread out on the rolling plains before my tiny eyes, it was the Music that pulled the Spirit of Christmas into the Hinson Household. whether it was listening to blistering echoes of “Baby, Please Come Home” by the genius of the Spector crew, the calm and serene “Aspen Glow” of John Denver, or the general mayhem of A Bananza Christmas with Little Joe and Haus; music was everywhere, and in my child mind, it was just as good as snow. the only down side is that i couldn’t sled down songs, or maybe i could, just in a different way. there was a top, a middle and a bottom and the Christmas Spirit surrounded me at every twist and turn. there was movement.
on Christmas Eve my family and i would lay out sugar cookies and a glass of milk for Santa Claus. i remember thinking, “no wonder he is such a jolly fella; cookies down every fireplace.” then the restless night, the intent listening, as if waiting for a thief, then the sun coming up and into my window, and suddenly my brother and i running down the hall to see what Santa had left for us.
he always left something; no matter how big or small, letting us know he had been there for us. He had thought of us. He didn’t forget us. that was a special moment. that moment of knowing, or thinking, that someone i had never known had taken the time out of his sleigh-riding adventures to stop there at my little house there out in the middle of nowhere Texas and leave me something
i didn’t deserve.
Santa had thought of me and had wanted to make me happy.
it was a gift without a gift.
it was a thought.
it was his attention.
so, now, as i am getting older in years, day after day, and as every Christmas passes me by, i still put on those old records and know that there was someone thinking of me, caring about me, and wanting me to be as happy as life would allow. now it is, i suppose, my turn to let others know that they are remembered and they are loved on each and every Christmas Season that passes them by. i have put Time, Care, and Love into these Recordings; each meaning a great deal to me throughout my life, and now i give them to you, dear reader, oh dear listener.
these Songs are for You.
each year, you can pull them out of their sleeves, put them on the spinning wheel and know that, whether there is snow, or merriment, or sadness and loneliness, i am there wishing you all the Love the World can bear to give you. Every year it will be my reminder to you that you are astoundingly important. the World would not be the same without You.
so as this Christmas Season approaches, know that there are others, such as the children at Christ Haven, a home for children in Keller, Texas, that need to know that they are Loved and Remembered, as all the money from this Project will be going right into their hands. whether they are fed with it, driven with it, or sent to school, the money we give as Humanity will help them know that they are Loved, even by strangers, as in Truth we are not strangers at all.
We are One; all under the twinkling Tree, thinking of the Ones we have Loved and Ones that have Loved us. This is my gift to you.
Christ Haven for Children, the charity I have chosen to support, is a Children’s Home in Keller, Texas, focusing on keeping families united despite tearing families apart. Parents can admit their children into a place where they will be cared for by loving house parents, while the biological families can spend the time rebuilding their lives and having a healthier home for their children can return to. It is an astounding place in which my wife used to work for a few years back around the turn of the century. It also serves as a Foster Home/Foster care, which is temporary placement, onsite counselling, etc. -MPH –
Order it here at Yellow Bird Project