In addition to being a terrific songwriter, Sayers is quite a capable guitar player. On this latest album, ‘Christmastime’ Sayers hooks up with Mandolin player Michael Orlando for an offering of seasonal carols that have a strong roots base. Using a sparse performance in a seemingly live setting this album captures a romanticized feel of what Christmas on the prairie before the turn of the 20th century may have sounded like.
There is an interesting guitar / mandolin interplay during the otherwise traditional ‘Little Drummer Boy’ that would appeal to Chet Atkins / Ricky Scruggs fans. Sayer’s go at the Chuck Berry standard, ‘Run Run Rudolph’ is well done and an energetic highlight of the album. Of the albums 13 tracks only one, ‘Just About Christmas Time’ is not a standard.
On the track, ‘Here Comes Santa Claus’ Sayers and Orlando modulate the song and rip through an exchange of instrumental solo breaks that are tasty and rockin’. This would be a great gift for your average blues / Americana music fan that is looking for something familiar yet refreshing to be the soundtrack of their holiday season.