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Annapolis’ finestand probably only—Celtic label provides the perfect reason to declare, “Let’s get tanked and go a-wassailing!” Fiddler Bonnie Rideout chose a mixture of traditional Christmas songs and Scottish seasonal tunes to play with guitarist Al Petteway and label owner/hammer dulcimerist Maggie Sansone, with occasional contributions from other players on bagpipes (natch), cello, and the highland fife drum. If you have no desire to hear “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” again, just wait for the 15th-century downer “Da Day Dawis (The Day Dawns)” or the perfectly titled “Gloomy Winter.” A Scottish Christmas is a perfect album for a chap like myself, a Scotsman by heritage, pale as snow, and just as chilly. And most importantly, the CD awakens my dormant nationalism. Excuse me while I don a kilt, organize a clan reunion, listen to the Soup Dragons, and watch Rob Roy.
—I’m Dreaming of a White Christopher Porter