Christmas in the Mountains, Vol. 3 CD available through December
From the first fiddle notes of Amantha Mills' "The Greatest Gift" to the final sweet vocals on Jessaca Presnell's take on "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting)," Christmas in the Mountains, Volume III is much more than a collection of songs by local artists. It is, instead, a holiday album that could quickly earn a place among one's favorite yuletide classics.
Christmas in the Mountains, Volume III was released in October and is on sale at dozens of High Country outlets. It is priced at $10, and proceeds from the sale of the album benefit the Hunger and Health Coalition.
The album features performances by Amantha Mill, the Todd Wright Trio, Jeff Little and Friends, Diana & Sarvis Ridge, Strictly Clean & Decent, the Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church Choir, Bob & Ellie, Sharon Mitchell, Ruth & Steve Smith, Helen White, Joe Shannon, the Kingston Trio and Jessica Presnell.
The performances range from Jeff Little's rollicking saloon piano instrumental version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" to Todd Wright's sultry jazz saxophone version of "A Child is Born" to the Smiths' hauntingly beautiful Celtic-sounding take on "Carol of the Bells."
Most of the cuts are artists' renditions of traditional favorites performed in an original manner.
Amantha Mill and Helen White, however, add their own original songwriting talents to "The Greatest Gift" and "A Christmas Promise," respectively, helping make the CD a collection of songs one can find nowhere else.
All of the artists heard on Christmas in the Mountains, Volume III donated their time and talents to the project, many of them for the second or third time in the history of the series.
"All proceeds will go to a new initiative called 'End Childhood Hunger in the High Country'," said Leslie Shavell, coordinator of the project. "Our goal this year is to raise $35,000. In this kind of economy, I know that is an ambitious number. However, so much more is needed to help those folks who used to be working and were productive citizens, and now cannot even afford to buy food and medicine."
Added Compton Fortuna, executive director of the Hunger and Health Coalition, "The number of clients we are working with is unprecedented. One in seven children in North Carolina goes hungry every day. The effects of childhood hunger are immediate and long-term."
The Health and Hunger Coalition provides food, vitamins and medicine to people in need in Watauga and surrounding counties.
Christmas in the Mountains Volume III may be purchased in Blowing Rock at the Blowing Rocket office, the Blowing Rock Market, Bob Timberlake Studios, Village Pharmacy, Carriage Trade Antiques, Chetola Resort's Gift Shop, Christopher's Wine and Cheese, the Dulcimer Shop, Glidewell's on Main restaurant, Kilwin's Ice Cream (both locations) the Meadowbrook Inn, Monkee's Shoes, Mother Nature's Produce, Neaco, Pleasant Papers, Poppy's Interiors, Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church, St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church, Bless Your Heart and Wachovia Bank and Trust.
It is available in Boone at Artwalk, BB&T Bank, Bank of Granite, Bare Essentials Market, Black Bear Books, Boone Drug, Cafe Portofino, Changes Salon, Cheap Joe's Art Stuff, Conrad's Coffee Company at Shoppes on Shadowline, Cornerstone Bookstore, Earth Fare, Framing By Lori, Harkin's Insurance Agency, the Hunger and Health Coalition office, the Mast General Store, Mike's Inland Seafood, Mountain Bagels, Pepper's Restaurant, Rydell Music Center, The Shoppes at Farmers, Tanner Factory Store, Appalachian State University Bookstore, Wachovia Bank and Trust, Walgreen's Drugs, Watauga Women's Center, and Western Eye Associates.
Other locations include Apple Hill Farm (Banner Elk), BB&T Bank (Banner Elk), Blue Moon Guitars and Music (West Jefferson), Cornett-Deal Christmas Tree Farm (Sugar Grove), Everything Scottish (Linville), Fred's General Mercantile (Beech Mountain), Grandfather Mountain Gift Shop, Mast General Store (Valle Crucis), Maw's Produce (Foscoe), New Lifestyles Carpet (Banner Elk) and Summit Realty (Banner Elk).
For more information, visit http://www.hungercoalition.com or call (828) 262-1628.