Christian Music Makers loves Christmas music. Even though it’s only September when posting this, it’s getting to be that time of year when Christmas music will be released. Guess who is releasing a Christmas CD? Earnest Pugh! He’s the man who gave the world hit songs like “Rain On Us” and “I Need Your Glory.” Now, he’s joining the ranks of Johnny Mathis, Mahalia Jackson and Nat “King” Cole by creating a holiday album, “Christmas with Earnest Pugh & Friends” (EPM Music Group/$15.98 MSRP), due in stores on October 16th, and it’s destined to become an annual yuletide listening treat.
The fourteen-track set marks Pugh’s first time sitting in the producer’s chair and he shares the mic with some of his best and most talented friends in the music biz. The initial radio single, “Ring Dem Bells,” a rousing mid-tempo ballad, features impassioned backing vocals by Charles Butler & Trinity. A soulful “Silent Night” features the smooth tenor of Quadrius Salters. Baritone Keith Williams joins Pugh on “Holy 2 U,” while powerhouse soprano Chrystal Rucker does a majestic rendition of “Do You Hear What I Hear?” with a simple piano arrangement. Lisa Knowles of the Brown Sisters and Pugh trade adlibs on a churchy rendition of “O Come All Ye Faithful.” Vincent Tharpe & Kenois create a warm and cozy groove on “Go Tell It” while newcomer Martha Buries brings a jazzy vibe to Ann McCrary’s “Remember Not 2 Forget.” Veteran vocalist Nikki Ross sits us down on the front pew of a Sunday morning church service to deliver a dramatic version of “Walk in the Light.” As you can tell, this is not just an Earnest Pugh recording– this is Earnest AND FRIENDS!
Christmas music has always been a staple in Pugh’s home.
“With very little money and twelve kids, music was all we had when I was growing up,” he remembers. “Our household was filled with love, music and good food during the holidays. This CD is near and dear to my heart because it was one of the final requests that my mother made just prior to passing away on New Year’s Eve 2006– that I make a Christmas CD. The concept of the CD catches me interacting with some kids during a choir rehearsal to prepare them to go caroling throughout the neighborhood.”
Get this– there are currently plans in the works for a 10-city Christmas with Earnest Pugh Tour that would also feature EPM Music Group artists such as Vincent Tharpe & Kenosis, Chrystal Rucker and Keith Williams. For more info on EPM and its various projects, visit www.epmmusicgroup.com.