Trinity River Band Christmas

On A Morning Like This - Trinity River BandHere’s another new Christmas album for 2014. This one, On A Morning Like This, comes from Callahan, Florida’s Harris family and their terrific group, Trinity River Band.

The band consists of Mike and Lisa Harris on guitar and bass respectively, and their talented brood. Son Josh is on banjo, and daughter Brianna on fiddle, with eldest daughter Sarah taking the mandolin and the bulk of the lead vocals. Everyone in the family shares in the singing.

Most of the songs they have chosen for their Christmas project are familiar favorites.

  • I Saw Three Ships Sailing In
  • What Child is This
  • A Christmas Medley
  • This Christmas
  • Silent Night
  • On A Morning Like This
  • We Three Kings
  • The First Noel
  • Oh Holy Night
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

But they are all presented with interesting acoustic/bluegrass arrangements unique to Trinity River Band.

Two are originals written within the band. Sarah tells us that they both came organically.

Sarah Harris“The title track is one my mom wrote – it is her first song! She had an idea for a song, and told my dad about it, as he writes most of our songs. He encouraged her to finish writing it, and we love it!

This Christmas is one I wrote last Christmas. I wasn’t thinking of it as something we might record. It just came from my heart.

And I added a few new verses to I Saw Three Ships, to change the story a bit. My brother and I came up with that arrangement. I’ve always loved Celtic music, and we gave that one some of that feel. We worked really hard on it.”

The album had an interesting genesis, starting with the folks at National Media Services in Front Royal, VA. There they offer full service CD manufacturing, including graphic design and printing, specializing in short run projects under 1,000 units. But what makes them unique is that they also have their own recording and mastering studios, with staff producers available on site.

Each year, the staff chooses one of their customers to make a Christmas album, which the company includes in a gift package they send out to their many other customers and friends. This year, Trinity River Band was chosen.

National Sales Director Mark Tobolsky (Mark T to friends), says that while they don’t focus exclusively on bluegrass artists, they have developed a strong niche in that market. Last year’s Christmas CD featured Nothin’ Fancy, and Wayne Taylor the year before.

Mark Tobolsky (on guitar) with Josh, Brianna, and Sarah Harris“The Harris family has been a customer of ours for about three years, and I’m a big fan. Sarah’s voice is enough to give you chills.

We brought them in and did the whole thing. On A Morning Like This was recorded, mastered, mixed, designed and manufactured here. The band gets a bunch of copies for their own use, and we send them out to our list.”

So with their new Christmas album, available for sale now from iTunes and other online resellers, and on CD from the band’s web site, Trinity River Band has booked a busy November/December seasonat churches and worship centers throughout the southeastern US.

Sarah says that this is a new thing for them, being busy late in the year, but that they are looking forward to the Christmas shows, and thankful to National Media Services for the opportunity.

“They are so good at what they do, and we really appreciate them.

We’re about to start rehearsing so we can be ready!”

Radio programmers can download the tracks at Airplay Direct.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.