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BUY CDs > Buy Light of the Dawn > Lyrics & Song Information > Reviews - 'Light of the Dawn'
fRoots magazine - October 2006 Light of the Dawn

"Self-produced singer-songwriters, eh? If the concept makes your heart sink, think again, as Keith Christmas's latest album goes a long way to restoring some dignity and pride to a much-maligned genre.

First off, the sound is fantastic and grabs the attention: the confident, gutsy guitar, picked or slide, has immediacy and intimacy in equal measure; and Christmas's urgent, hoarse vocals can't help but involve the listener in the moods and stories of the songs. These range from the rockish Slave To Your Love and the bluesy Let the Devil to the more contemplative Boat Train and She Came To Me.
The standouts include the worldly, gospel-style A Line Is A Line, with its halting rhythms, and Heart, Soul, Body And Mind, the succinct tale of a young gigolo in thrall to his sugar mummy.
Anyone who's toured, or who has read about touring, will enjoy Stone With A View, which dates back over 30 years but still sounds contemporary; while Western Man has fire in the belly and some of the old righteous anger, and Mr Optimistic Me is a gentle slice of autobiography at a certain time of life.
Top that with Christmas's sensitive rewrite of the late Dave Mudge's Lowly Low (Lovers of the Night), and you have a fine, timeless album.
Distributed by Voiceprint." - Ian Kearey, 'fRoots magazine'
Venue Magazine - July 2006

"... the extremely high quality of the material and performance on this new album makes you wonder just how good Keith can really become." - Tony Slinger, 'Venue'

Ptolemaic Terrascope - September 2006

"Christmas’ performances, mainly of the unaccompanied acoustic variety, are impeccable throughout, reminding me, admittedly during a wishful-thinking, romantic streak, of what a still-living Nick Drake might have been doing today.....‘Light of the Dawn’ is another essential addition to the collections of fans of folk/rock/blues singer/songwriters everywhere." Jeff Penczak, 'Ptolemaic Terrrascope' - September 2006

Rating: 4/5
Standout tracks: Light of the Dawn - Stone with a View - Let the Devil

Who the f*ck is Keith Christmas? F*lk blues? Run for the hills surely - and then wonder why in b*ggery a folk blues album is getting reviewed on this blog. Firstly a confession - I work with this guy. Now it's not what you're thinking - for a start the tight b*stard made me pay for the CD. Secondly it's actually that good that I reckon people need to know about it. I'll be honest - my reference points for this genre are few and far between and often take the shape of memories of half heard music from smoky real ale West Country pubs where I'd ventured on ill-advised forays looking for a Sunday roast. The closest my own music collection gets to Keith's stuff is the occasional slide guitar offering from Ben Harper or Mark Lanegan (former Screaming Trees singer sometime Queens of the Stone age collaborator) especially his 'Field Songs' album.

The first thing that pleasantly surprised me about this album was the fact that it didn't feature any accordions at all. Secondly it was close enough to Mark Lanegan for me not to feel completely out of my depth. Thirdly the quality of the tunes like 'Light of the Dawn'.

The opening acoustic guitar chords of this reminded me of 'Alone Again Or' by Love on their 'Forever Changes' LP. In fact the guitar playing is pretty damn impressive throughout, especially on bluesy tracks like 'Heart, Soul, Body and Mind' and 'Let the Devil'. You can't knock the man's voice either - it wouldn't surprise me if he's smoked the odd cigarette, but he's got range and can more than carry a tune.

The tempo of tracks varies a lot over the album from slide-blues stompers like the aforementioned 'Let the Devil' to the melancholy 'Stone With A View' and for anal guitar geeks, Keith's generously included the tuning AND the capo position for each song. All this and he produced it as well!

I would go on for longer but I have to go and get some more tobacco for my pipe and my glass of Old Peculiar is nearly empty. Just kidding. Anyway - you don't have to take my word for it go and listen at Check!