The band Diamond Rio has long been one of country music’s most successful groups. In their over two decades in the music business they’ve won numerous awards, have had nine No. 1 hits, placed 15 singles in the Top Five, been inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, and have sold more than 10 million records and received the Minnie Pearl Humanitarian Award in recognition of their many charitable endeavors, including their longtime relationship as National Spokespersons for Big Brothers Big Sisters.
With all of those achievements it’s hard to believe that the group has never put out a holiday release. The band says that they’ve always wanted to do a Christmas album and with their recent signing to the Word Record’s label the time and situation was right.
The result is The Star Still Shines, a collection of Christmas classics along with the original title track, “The Star Still Shines”.
When I first got this release I expected to hear Christmas songs set to a heavy country music style. While songs like, “Winter Wonderland”, “Sleigh Ride”, and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” have a country vibe the only ‘hill music country’ track is the country/ bluegrass song, “Christmas Times A Comin’.” This songs a real toe taper that will quickly have you singing along. That being said a good portion of the album has more of a contemporary /pop sound to it.
The Star Still Shines though is filled with the band’s signature vocal harmonies that could stand their ground against anyone in a singing contest. You’ll also find those harmonies showcased in their purest form in the a capella songs, “O Come O Come Emmanuel”, and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” found on The Star Still Shines.
The release’s original track, “The Star Still Shines” has the potential to become a Christmas classic. When asked about the song band member Marty Roe said, “It’s a great song and it has a great message to it,” he continued, “It’s about the Christmas story, the birth of Christ. I love the sentiment that the star is still shining. He is still here with us and that good news is still here today. I think we came out with something really, really special.”
If your looking for a new album to add to your Christmas play list then Diamond Rio’s, The Star Still Shines would make a nice choice. The music is done in such a way that I think it will appeal to many different family generations as you set around enjoying the holidays together.
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