The Christmas Croude 27th Anniversary
Judging by industry sales, it safe to assume--at least in the past anyway--that Christmas music has been an important part of the Season.
I grew up with it and special special memories. Back in the day--vinyl. Samplers were the bomb. Everybody put out great long playing samplers. Even those you would not expect like Firestone Tires. And often with world class peformers. My own introduction to "medievalism" came from an Ames Brothers recording of Good Kind Wencelas--actually an after Christmas carol. Funny how 2 and half minutes can change your worldview.
A couple of years ago I was happy to find that disc in re-release--and that intoxicating arrangement is also in this year’s mix.
Then as a stranger in a strange land from the North, I became involved in public radio.
So, back in 1985 when I had an opportunity to do a pilot for The Electric Croude--it was Christmas time. It ran during the midday hour as a special... and the rest, as they say is history. From time to time I'm asked what is a 'croude'. Its actually one of serveral spellings referring to an ancient Celtic instrument. Since the point of the program was to marry acoustic with electric--I'll admit I loved the bad pun. In those days the show was predominantly anglo/celtic. Like all mass media the program devoured more English music than currently available. I took a chance. And expanded. There were so many great genres of music that I enjoyed--and nowhere to be found on the radio--I wanted to see how others might react to the obscure, melodic, and interesting. Through the years The Electric Croude found its niche in that regard. This year’s Christmas Croude is no different--the very best in folk/jazz/prog rock/classica/pop all inspired by the season.
But every Christmas the program reverts to its original format. Hence, The Christmas Croude. Simply great seasonal music from our country and others. Some of this music is no longer in print--and that makes it even more special for me to share. The poetic elements of irony do not escape my attention. There is an incredible guitar version of JS Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring--and I have no idea who did it. In that regard, no one is given credit on the album. Some say it was sold in health food stores decades ago. Think about it. Some of the most original and creative arrangements ever recorded--and no one taking credit. That’s humility.
Kind of reminds you of a simple and humble unique Birth thousands of years ago in a small village called Bethlehem.
Thank you for your support through the decades and a very Happy Twelve Days of Christmas!
This year The Christmas Croude airs twice. Late Saturday at the midnight hour EST on WCVE Public Radio. Simul streaming at ideastations.org/radio. You can also follow your host on Facebook at Geo Maida or call 804 560-8177.