Brenn Hill’s second Christmas CD includes a mix of traditional Christmas songs, as well as originals cowboys will appreciate.
“But you’re breaking young horses in the deep snow. Pull up your collar and let the wind blow. There’s a paycheck waiting for you on the other side. Old Man Winter’s Rawhide.” Lyrics from “Old Man Winter’s Rawhide,” from the album Songs for a Winter’s Ride
One of the most talented songwriters and vocalists in the cowboy genre, Brenn Hill has shared his songs on stages throughout the West for more than two decades. He also gives back to the ranching community, singing at benefits and fundraisers year-round for those in need. This holiday season he offers a new CD filled with a selection of 15 classic and contemporary cowboy Christmas songs listeners will love at Christmas and throughout the winter.
Sing along to traditional Christmas carols such as “Angels We Have Heard on High,” “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” and “Joy to the World,” while enjoying his take on Merle Haggard’s “If We Make it Through December” and Gordon Lightfoot’s “Song for a Winter’s Night.” A true songsmith, Hill also includes seasonal songs he penned that relate to his knowledge of cowboy life and his family’s personal experience with cancer.
The touching song “Hard Cancer Christmas” is based on the Christmas season of 2009 when Hill and his family were sitting in a Salt Lake City, Utah, hospital as his 2-year-old son, Briggs, battled brain cancer. To bring the Christmas spirit into the hospital room, Hill tried to hang lights, but a nurse wouldn’t allow it.
“So I dress up like Santa Claus to pass the time away,” he sings. “Hold him close, it gets hard, and all I can say is we’ll be fine and dandy, Lord, it’s a hard cancer Christmas. If he lives through December we might get home for Christmas Eve.”
During that difficult time many people reached out to help the Hill family, and that’s why he shares his gift of music to help others. Today, Briggs is 11 years old and living the life of a normal boy.
Another song on the CD, “Christmas in the Bunkhouse,” was inspired by a night Hill spent in a bunkhouse on the legendary MC Ranch in Oregon, and the humble cowboys he meets on the road.
“There’s a lot of holey stockin’s hanging on the hearth. We’ve even perched a pinion tree and dressed it with our scarves,” Hill sings. “The old north wind’s a blowin’, no one’s headed for the outhouse. Fill your cup and roll the dice, it’s Christmas in the bunkhouse.”
As with his other 14 CD releases, Hill combines the best of cowboy music traditions with complex, contemporary instrumentals that range from toe-tapping country to smooth jazz. In these cowboy Christmas songs he also adds a special soulfulness that speaks to his faith, character and high regard for the cowboy lifestyle.