Title - 'Home For The Holidays - Deluxe' [CD/DVD]
Artist - Heart & Friends
As I'm sure you are all well aware by now, Heart is an American rock band that first found success in Canada and later in the United States and worldwide. Over the group's four-decade history, the band has had three primary line-ups, with the constant center of the group since 1974 being sisters Ann Wilson (lead singer) and Nancy Wilson (guitarist).
Heart rose to fame in the mid-1970s with music influenced by hard rock and heavy metal as well as folk music. Their popularity declined in the early 1980s, but the band enjoyed a comeback starting in 1985 and experienced even greater success with album oriented rock (AOR) hits and hard rock ballads into the 1990s.
With Jupiter's Darling (2004), Red Velvet Car (2010), and Fanatic (2012), Heart made a return to their hard rock and acoustic folk roots. Here in 2014, Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson return to their hometown of Seattle to stage a celebration of the Christmas season. Gathering a few of their friends to join them in singing holiday classics, personal favorites and some of their own hits, Home For The Holidays - Deluxe ie: CD/DVD is a real festive treat, for one and all!
As much as it's truly weird to listen to Christmas music in November, before Thanksgiving even, putting this delightful, festively curious CD on was rather like allowing yourself to be transported to a winter wonderland of peace and tranquility. This CD/DVD deluxe package begins with Joni Mitchell's rueful 'The River,' which is sung by Ann Wilson, and that's backed by Elton John and Bernie Taupin's undervalued 'Seasons,' before the first of the stars come to the musical fore, Shawn Colvin, on both the piano-fused 'Rocking,' and then the mandolin-inspired 'Love Came Down at Christmas.'
"Happy Holidays," Ann opens up to the gathering, as she then recants the tale that she has written a Christmas poem, one which she then recites the lyrics to. Not a long track, it's actually called 'On This Good Christmas Day,' and that is backed by the lullaby, 'All Through The Night,' which features Richard Marx. The Hawaiian tuck 'n roll of 'All We Need Is An Island,' featuring the unmistakeable voice of the Red Rocker himself Sammy Hagar is next, and that is followed by another Hagar-vocally inspired track, 'Santa's Going South.'
Train's Pat Monahan is next to the mic, as he helps the band out with 'Please Come Home for Christmas,' which in turn is backed by Harry Nilsson's never-really-appreciated 'Remember Christmas.' Heart then break from the Christmas feel and perform, strangely, their own 1977 hit, 'Barracuda,' before launching into a track only found on the CD, a blistering 'Even It Up.' This CD/DVD deluxe set, where the DVD brings to your TV screens the actual concert, then comes to a close with the Led Zeppelin classic, 'Stairway to Heaven' (don't ask), and then finally, 'Ring Them Bells,' featuring Pat Monahan, Richard Marx, and Shawn Colvin.
As they leave the stage, Ann thanks everyone, says goodnight and then throws out a genuinely sincere, "Happy Holidays" to all those gathered there at this once-in-a-lifetime concert. Taped on December 12th, 2013 at the beautiful Benaroya Symphony Concert Hall in Seattle, Home For The Holidays - Deluxe [CD/DVD] is a delight to behold, even if some of the song choices are questionable.