In 2010 in addition to the dances they perform in the village and the area, The Bethlehem Village Band was booked to play for the celebrated Bethlehem Christmas Fair, which all agreed was great fun and led to the idea to produce a Christmas record. Extra inspiration was gained from the fact that many carols used to be danced to as well as sung.
Their new album BETHLEHEM CHRISTMASoffers listeners a wide spectrum of old Christmas songs from the British Isles and beyond, including popular carols and hymn melodies such as Joy to The World,Ding Dong Merrily on High and O Little Town Of Bethlehem, but also some less well known Christmas traditions and specialities from Wales such as Y Fari Lwyd, Nos Galan, Gower Wassail.
All the tracks on the album BETHLEHEM CHRISTMASare arranged for acoustic instruments and reclaim the songs for the traditional style. Unusual combinations abound such as Celtic harp and bowed lyre in a mesmerising duet on Silent Night and trombone, bagpipes, and hurdy-gurdy leading the 16th century sacred song Gaudete. Vocal harmonies are to the fore on the Welsh carols Ar Gyfer Heddiw`r Boreand Carol Y Blwch whilst standards such as O Come All Ye Faithful are rendered as spacious instrumentals. On some tracks the sound is rich and full, a full compliment of instrumentation with four part vocal choruses such as I Saw Three Ships and Deck the Halls. On other tracks such as: Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming and In theBleak Midwinter the sound is delicate and gentle with fewer instruments seamlessly weaving into each other to create a gentle, peaceful feeling.
TheBethlehem Village Band offers fresh energy and rustic charm to well loved Christmas carols. Their new album BETHLEHEM CHRISTMASunites old Yuletide traditions with Christian celebrations, filling the listener with joy and peace.
The album was recorded, mixed and mastered by Jens Schroeder at Dreamworld Studio, produced by Sille Ilves, Ceri Owen-Jones and Martin Leamon in September 2011.