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Bethlehem House of Bread
Artist: Annie Moses Band
Label: manAlive Records
Time: 10 tracks/ 41:40
If there is one thing that can be said consistently about the Annie Moses Band it is, they create beautiful music. The charts for the Christmas CD Bethlehem House of Bread are breathtaking. The vocals of Annie Wolaver are as pretty as the lady herself. The strings arrangements are some of the best you will hear in any genre of music.
If you want to capture the true spirit of what Christmas is all about this year you need to sit quietly and mediate upon the words of traditional carols set to new arrangements by Annie and Bill Wolaver (the father). In particular the stirring rendition of the spiritual Mary Had a Baby will make you tingle in awe. Annie Wolaver’s vocals are backed by the chorale ensemble One Voice comprised of sopranos Kelly Lunsford, Barklee Bowers, Christin Kubasko and Mary Hannah Corzine. Alto vocals come by way of Alex Bowers and Anna Stancil. Melissa McLamb directs One Voice.
The mother of the talented Wolaver family is Robin, long regarded as a gifted lyricist. Robin has blessed us with the sacramental “Bethlehem, House of Bread”, the gentle lullaby like “Little Baby” and the bluegrass “Christmas on Cripple Creek”. This is not the first time the normally classically oriented Wolavers have pointed a song in the direction of Robin’s heritage in the eastern mountains of Tennessee. She shares writing credits for “Christmas on Cripple Creek” with husband Bill and Annie. Pete Huttlinger and Jeremiah Wolaver combine for some great banjo picks while Annie a former Berklee protégée temporarily abandons prim and proper to demonstrate her prowess as a top notch fiddler.
It is amazing that one family should have so much talent and still remain so humble and ministry focused. I recall being spellbound as I sat in a Canadian television studio last January and watched a scaled down Annie Moses Band perform on 100 Huntley Street. Afterwards when we met and sat around the table talking I kept thinking, ‘They can’t realllllyyyy be this nice.’
If you want to experience over and over again the majesty of worshipping a king who came to earth that we might live then listen very carefully and mediate upon the words of “Holy Christmas Day (A Christmas Communion Hymn),”
The fruit of the vine we pour
Blood so pure, so crimson
Hope of redemption
It’s you we praise
On this holy, holy Christmas day
The Annie Moses Band is comprised of, Annie Wolaver (violin, lead vocals), Alex Wolaver (viola, background vocals), Benjamin Wolaver (cello), Camille Wolaver (harp, organ, background vocals, low harmony), Gretchen Wolaver (mandolin, background vocals, high harmony), Jeremiah Wolaver (banjo), Bill Wolaver (piano, keyboard), Robin Wolaver (background vocals, low harmony), J. Javier Santiago (drums, percussion) and Peter Bales (bass).
By Joe Montague, exclusive rights reserved
Joe Montague is an internationally
published journalist / photographer. His ministry is dedicated to the memory
of his late son Kent David Montague who went to heaven at the age of 18.
All copyright and distribution rights remain the property of Joe Montague.