Picks and Pans Review: The Nashville Christmas Album

updated 12/08/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/08/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

Various artists

There's a peaceful, low-key feel to this album of country music stars performing mostly traditional Christmas tunes, with minimalist backup. Willie Nelson's Pretty Paper, sung by John Conlee (backed by some effective fiddling by Charlie Daniels), is the most recent song, and Nelson wrote that in 1962. Nelson himself provides a touching Silent Night in a duet with Connie Smith backed by Chet Atkins and Don Potter on guitar and Marty Stuart on mandolin. Among the other singers are Janie Frickie, Mark Gray, Mickey Gilley, Charly McClain and Merle Haggard, whose slightly swinging version of White Christmas seems a bit odd. Perhaps the most touching track has George Jones and Gene Watson teaming up to sing Silver Bells, backed only by Billy Sherrill, better known for his producing than his piano playing. (Epic)

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