I was recently writing a review on a Johnny Cash Christmas album for another thread, and I mentioned that country music artists rarely make outstanding holiday albums. This comes from someone who grew up on country music in the late 60's and early 70's, so I do not say this easily or as a put down on one of my very favorite genre's of music. My main theory is that country artists cannot seem to make up their mind whenever they try to make a great holiday album; Are they making a Christmas album or a country album or both. They seem to get lost in some sort of musical void. My favorite country Christmas albums are the ones where the artists just go ahead and follow their heart and passion try not to overthink it. If you want to make a traditional pop Christmas album, just go ahead and do it, but don't think that by adding a steel guitar or banjo, you are going to impress us or make us believe that it is now a country album. Clay Walker is a very talented country singer, who decided to make a great traditional holiday album with no pretensions of it being a country holiday album. He round up a huge group of orchestral players and background vocalists and made a terrific, but totally unheralded holiday album in 2002. Just like in the good old days of the Golden Age of Christmas, the choice of arranger was pivotal to its success. Clay chose Nashville arranger Bergen White, one of the greatest and truly unsung heroes in country music history. Elvis Presley thought so highly of him in the 1970's that he requested Bergen by name to come in and arrange songs like Polk Salad Annie, Walk A Mile In My Shoes, Bridge Over Troubled Water and You Don't Have To Say You Love Me for him, among many others. Please check out the gorgeous instrumental overture on the very well known Mary Did You Know, from Clays's terrific holiday album. I am not sure if any Nashville artist has ever had a song begin with an almost thirty second all orchestral instrumental intro before this attempt, but it is a gorgeously scored piece of music that really sets the stage for this modern hymn.