Country outlaw Toby Keith just released a new country music CD but has also announced plans for the release of what he calls an acoustic/bluegrass Christmas CD.
I did 10 Christian and 10 Santa Claus songs. One disc has ‘White Christmas’ and ‘Frosty the Snowman’-kind of songs. The other has very Christian-type songs like ‘Little Drummer Boy’ and ‘Silent Night.’
Aside from cutting 20 traditional Christmas songs instead of originals, Keith also took a turn toward the acoustic on the new record.
I cut it mainly with acoustic instruments. I called it the bluegrass band — dobro, fiddle, mandolin, piano, acoustic bass and brushes on the drums. That became a new part of me. I like to hear myself working in that atmosphere and that environment.
As a hard core bluegrass fan, I noticed right away that the banjo didn’t make the list of acoustic instruments used for this recording. That doesn’t necessarily prevent the album from being a bluegrass album, but it does make one wonder what Keith’s understanding of bluegrass is. I guess we won’t know until we hear the record.
Either way though, I think it’s exciting to see a major country act trumpeting the virtues of an acoustic sound that includes strong bluegrass instrumentation.