Release date: Friday, November 12th 2021
Label: Silver Knife/Thirty Tigers
Amanda Shires will deliver fans an early Christmas present on November 12th with For Christmas. The singer/songwriter/400 Unit fiddle player previewed her first-ever Christmas album with the single, “Gone For Christmas”.
The 11-track offering, out via Silver Knife/Thirty Tigers, will feature nine originals and two covers, one of Frank Loesser‘s “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” and the other of “Silent Night”. While the latter choice may give off the impression of a generic Christmas album sitting next to the register at Starbucks, Shires’ original “Gone For Christmas” quickly dispels that impression.
“‘Gone for Christmas’ is a truth,” Shires said. “You’re going to ask for things for Christmas, so what do you really want? I liked the idea of the outlandish mixed with how you actually feel. We actually feel like, ‘Oh my, I’m so tired of all this sh*t, and I want a different scene.’ But maybe you don’t want really that, but you just want to say extreme things. I was thinking of the ultimate Christmas list, and then at the end, I was thinking about how most of the items on it were impossible.”
The song is imbued with Shires’ sassy wit, forgoing any of the faux sentimentality and addressing the commercialism head-on with help from The McCrary Sisters on backing vocals. Among the items on Shires’ wishlist is a date with Larry David, though it’s unclear how that would go over with her husband, Jason Isbell.
The personnel on For Christmas includes guitarist Pat Buchanan, her 400 Unit bandmate Jimbo Hart (bass), Isbell/Shires’ Nashville neighbor and live collaborator Peter Levin (piano), drummer Fred Eltringham, and guitarist Lawrence Rothman. The album will mark the fiddle player’s first full-length release since 2018’s To The Sunset.
01 Magic Ooooooh
02 A Real Tree This Year
03 Let’s Get Away
04 Home To Me
05 Blame It On The Mistletoe
06 Slow Falling Snow
07 What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve
08 Silent Night
09 Gone For Christmas
10 Wish For You
11 Always Christmas Around Here