Photo courtesy Russ Harrington

The holidays are a time for a lot of pomp and circumstance, and we often think bigger is better. The showier the decorating, the grander the events, the better. But this Christmas, take the best kind of time-out with a new Christmas album by Amy Grant. The singer says that this new album, "Tennessee Christmas," is "unlike any other Christmas album I've ever done." SL was lucky enough to catch a preview of it, and we agree: you're going to want to grab this one.

When we caught up with Ms. Grant ahead of the album's October 21st release, she was kind enough to speak with us for a bit about recording, the holiday traditions her family keeps, and her upcoming tour. With fan-favorites like "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm," and "Oh, Come All Ye Faithful," this album will certainly set a holiday mood. We're loving the version of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" that Grant performs with husband Vince Gill.

You'll be able to catch the duo in December at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, during their annual Christmas shows. Grant will also tour with friend Michael W. Smith and special guest Jordan Smith. They'll be playing Christmas favorites with a full symphony orchestra–something that Grant remains grateful to be able to do, "to put together an evening of music of a really high caliber." Find out if the tour is hitting close to your hometown here.


"Tennessee Christmas" was a collaboration between Ms. Grant and three of her producers. She recalls the process, "We would be recording and talking about our Christmas memories and experiences." The album was recorded at the home she shares with Gill, and Grant says that making it with the team was truly a "magical experience." There are tender songs, as well as joyful ones, on this album–the product of the wonderful, warm collaborative process.

That warmth is palpable on the album, which, Grant says, is more organic, less orchestrated than any that she's done before. "It's meant to sound great at a low level, you know? Like it's on in the background, while you're doing your Christmas things," she says. Her family, she says, "doesn't do a big Christmas dinner, it's too much pressure. We do Christmas breakfast, everybody gets in the kitchen and helps out."

Then, before opening presents and settling down with a cup of coffee, the family takes one picture–not a glamour shot with brushed hair and perfect make-up, but just the kids in their pajamas. "You can see the evolution of the kids over the years," says Grant. "We don't take a ton of pictures, but we always take this one. It's one of our traditions." And now she's provided the perfect soundtrack for your Christmas traditions, old and new. Pre-order a copy of "Tennessee Christmas" here.