Together For Christmas - Reviews featuring John Munnelly


"Together for Christmas is truly a gift and a celebration of music and merriement"
- Liz Noonan of The Irish Echo Dec 2012

"The sequencing of the cd is really masterful, moving from mood to mood so seamlessly that it would be easy to let it play over and over again."
The Irish Examiner USA

"Everyone’s style stands up. The range of artistry and genre covered by the artists who contributed their talents in this release are wide. You will enjoy it!"

"John Munnelly adds that Beatlesque touch with the jolly Happy Christmas".
- Dec 2012

... and John Munnelly’s modern carol-like “Happy Christmas.”
- Boston Irish Reporter Dec 2012

There are many cheerful and pretty moments on the album, but the highlights for me include Cavan native John Munnelly singing a song he wrote about the birth of Jesus simply titled Happy Christmas.
"Sounds Around"  The Irish Echo by Liz Noonan page 20 12.12.12

(WFUV Radio Ceol na nGael)

Then the CD picks us up again with the grin-inducing joyous "Happy Christmas" from John Munnelly,
Irish Examiner USA,
Dec. 11, 2012

It's an instant must, a wonderful combination of familiar and new, upbeat and mellow.
Irish Examiner 12/11/12

Gwen Orel's New York Irish Arts

"My faves: Happy Christmas, John Munnelly (we included this on Podcast #24)
" ... an infectious tune that also tells the story of Baby Jesus. Instant classic."
( Gwen Orel New York Irish Arts Blog December Roundup of Best Irish and Celtic CD’s ) 12/27/12
FB correction:  " ... Of all time! (they are not all of 2012, it's my list of 2012, but it's a killer CD of ANY year!)

Will be playing 3 cuts from "Together for Christmas" CD on Sunday, December 16. They are John Munnelly's "Happy Christmas"; Tara O'Grady's " Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and Dave Browne and the Temple Bar Band featuring Clare Peelo. The CD is certainly eclectic with traditional favorites and an exciting blend of current seasonal sure-to-be classics.
8:06 am Sundays

“Together for Christmas” not only gets your attention, but it also could well stay in your CD rotation or playlist until at least President’s Day. This 15-track compilation is marked by some refreshingly new, or perhaps less well-known, voices of Celtic music. And the word “contemporary” in the title definitely fits here, most of the songs in the folk-rock vein, some acknowledging the bittersweet- ness the holiday season can bring: jangly electric guitars and bright mandolins along with family angstin The Elders’ “Christmas Day”; the gritty, fatalistic barroom humor of Kyf Brewer’s “Whiskey for Christ-mas”; equinoctial synthesizer and piano orchestration behind Emma Kate Tobia’s delicate “Walking in the Air”; brass-flavored wish-you-were-here sentiments gently voiced in “What Christmas Was Meant to Be” by Garrett Wall and Track Dogs; Ashley Davis’ dusky, regretful “Nollaig Moon,” and John Munnelly’s modern carol-like “Happy Christmas.”

Some more familiar names, voices and selections are here, too, like Cherish the Ladies and their trad-band treatment of Christmas-oriented tunes (a better fit might have been their cajunesque “Rise Up Shepherd”), The High Kings (“Driving Home for Christmas”), Da- mien Dempsey (“O Holy Night”) and the ever-ubiquitous Irish Tenors (“Silent Night”). Some delightful covers as well: Dave Browne and the Temple Bar doing Chrissie Hynde’s “2000 Miles,” Black 47’s Larry Kirwan dueting
with Ashley Davis on the John Lennon classic “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” and a give-’em-points-for-trying take on Shane McGowan’s magnificently, sentimentally desolate “Fairytale of New York” by George Murphy and Emma Kate Tobia – Murphy and Tobia don’t have the dissolute grandeur of McGowan and Kirsty MacColl in the original (who does?), but they do evoke some of their tragicomic point-counterpoint (He: “I could’ve been someone”/She: “Well, so could anyone”). Put a
bow on this one.

Boston Irish Reporter December 2012


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