Nearly 40 years after its release, Emmylou Harris’ Light of the Stable holds up very well

In 1975, Emmylou Harris released a Christmas single, Light of the Stable. Four years later, the LP Light of the Stable was recorded and released. It was re-released by Rhino with three additional songs in 2004. Nearly forty years after the release of the single, it still holds up very well. Here is a portion of’s review of it:

The album’s gestation began with a 1975 single of “Light of the Stable,” with most of the material recorded years later, but Harris and producer Brian Ahern gave the project an admirably unified sound, which speaks of Christmas with a quiet dignity that’s celebratory but reverent — this is one of the few Christmas albums from a secular artist that scarcely mentions Santa Claus while focusing clearly on the birth of Christ. Harris and Ahern assembled a stellar cast for these sessions — the pickers include Ricky Skaggs, James Burton, and Rodney Crowell, while Willie Nelson, Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton, and Neil Young pitch in backing vocals — but the results are a marvel of restraint, with precious little showboating and a handful of performances that rank with the performers’ best work. If you’re looking for a disc that will kick up your Christmas party a few notches, Light of the Stable isn’t it, but if you want to hear music of quiet but compelling beauty which warmly resonates with the true meaning of the holidays, then you’ll find this album is an experience to treasure.

Light of the Stable (listen for Neil Young, Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton on background vocals)

Away in a Manger 

Angel Eyes (Willie Nelson and Ricky Skaggs in the band and on background vocals)




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