Rumsey Records LLC and Heath & Molly announce the release of a brand new holiday album entitled, No Christmas in Kentucky. The album contains ten (10) tracks including two new originals, several with strong connections to Kentucky, traditional, and non-traditional, Christmas and holiday songs.
“We feel we’ve created a unique holiday album that will appeal to almost everyone. While there are a few traditional favorites most folks will know and love, there are also several tracks that one may not have ever heard on a holiday album,” said Molly Eric.
About the Album
The album highlights the duo’s deep Kentucky roots with many songs written by Kentucky artists, originally performed by Kentucky artists, or songs with references to Kentucky. The title track, “No Christmas in Kentucky,” was written by American protest singer Phil Ochs in 1963-64. Heath & Molly learned of Phil Ochs’ work from Steve Vest (Kentucky Monthly Magazine), and his book ‘Kentucky’s Twelve Days of Christmas – A Literary Anthology.’
“This particular tune resonated deeply with us. It inspired us to record the entire album. The song is set in eastern Kentucky and West Virginia. It broadly speaks to workers rights during the days of exploitation of people and natural resources by coal companies that have long since abandoned communities and left regions of Kentucky in total despair.
Phil perfectly and vividly conveys the vast divide between the wealthy and the poor, especially during the Christmas season. As one would imagine, the holiday experience for those at each end of the socio-economic spectrum is quite different. ‘…the trees don’t twinkle when you’re hungry… and the jingle bells don’t jingle when you’re poor,’ is one of the most powerful lines I have ever experienced in a song. When I first heard this song, I instantly knew we had to do it,” said Heath Eric.
The album also includes perhaps one of the most famous and well-known songs worldwide, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” This song was co- written by J. Fred Coots and Kentucky native James Haven Gillespie. According to “Kentucky’s Twelve Days of Christmas,” the song sold more than 25,000 copies of sheet music per day during its peak.
Other notable Kentucky connections include:
- “Christmas Present” Original song written by Owensboro, Kentucky native and resident Cyril Marque Payne
- “Solstice Song” Original Composition by Kentucky native Heath Eric
- “The Cherry Tree Carol” Traditional song made famous by national treasure and Kentucky native Jean Ritchie.
Traditional Christmas / Holiday season songs include:
- Oh, Holy Night (Traditional)
- Jingle Bells in 5 (Traditional)
- Auld Lang Syne 4 the New Millennium (Traditional)
“Heath and I each chose one song special to us for the album. I selected Joni Mitchell’s, ‘River,’ and Heath chose a song most famous for a well- known TV ad campaign that aired during the holiday season in the early 1970’s, ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony).’ Those two tracks round out the album and really make it something special,” said Molly Eric.
“We feel this album is one that you will quickly grow to love. It is perfect for listening throughout the holidays and it makes a great gift. It’s the kind of album that you put on ‘repeat’ and leave on all day,” added Heath & Molly.
The album is available NOW in both physical CD and digital download formats. Previews of each track and more information can be found online at HeathAndMolly.com.
CD Release Party at Annual Holiday Concert
The Official CD Release Party will coincide with Heath & Molly’s 5th Annual Holiday Concert at Towne Square Mall in Owensboro, Kentucky. The event will take place on the JC Penney stage, Friday, December 16, from 6pm to 8pm. Read last year’s Owensboro Living post about the Holiday Concert, where Heath and Molly debuted their EP.