Alan Jackson

Holiday album roundup 2016: Garth, R. Kelly, Neil Diamond and more

Holiday album roundup 2016: Garth, R. Kelly, Neil Diamond and more

The annual deluge of holiday releases seems to have a broader than usual range, from Georgian singer Katie Melua’s offering with Russian and Eastern European elements to R&B crooner R. Kelly’s pleasant surprise of a Christmas collection. There’s also the usual bevy of country artists weighing in, a class that includes Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, Kacey Musgraves, Loretta Lynn and Reba.

*** Band of Merrymakers “Welcome to Our Christmas Party” (Portrait). This L.A.-based collective taps a sprightly energy that’s infectious. Bonus points to producer-musicians Kevin Griffin and Sam Hollander for going the extra step of writing a handful of new holiday originals that...

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