NASHVILLE, TN….8/26/08…During the last month of the year, you don’t have to travel far to see what Christmas is for many people—a combination of sacred celebration and family tradition. Sara Groves’ first Christmas album, O Holy Night, which will bow on INO Records this October 14th, sits snugly in that spot where the magnificent story of Bethlehem coalesces with the sounds of yuletide gathering of friends and family, "I’ve always dreamed of doing a Christmas album,” Groves says. “Christmas music was such a part of life growing up. We had a huge stack of records that only get played for one month of the year. Ultimately I wanted to convey this story of Christ that’s been told so many times with as much artistry and creativity as possibly because it bears repeating,” she says.
Produced by Ben Shive, O Holy Night was originally intended to be an advent album for her family that would consist solely of sacred Christmas songs. When she began working on it, though, she decided to include some of her favorite songs about her family’s Christmas traditions.
One such song (one of four originals) is “To Be With You,” about Groves’ family Christmas, a sentimental snapshot of their gathering at her grandma’s house. Another is the fun song any parent who’s stayed up late on Christmas eve can relate to, “Toy Packaging,” which mimics how manufacturers twisty-tie and rivet everything to pieces of cardboard, saying, “my self-esteem is in the can, trying to open the robot man.”
Among the sacred Christmas songs included, “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” and “Go Tell It on the Mountain” both have personal meanings to Groves; the latter recorded with family and friends gathered around, singing together.
About the first, which turned out to be one of her favorites on the album, Groves says, “I hadn’t really thought about this song, but the lyrics jumped off the page to me. My family has had a really hard year. We’ve had some death and pain. The second verse of this song talks about “over our sad plains the angels sing.” It talks about how they come to sing about Christ, and “still through broken skies they come.” I was in tears reading the lyrics. It goes back to the theme of peace. You’re not traveling alone. You’re not laboring in vain. You’re not carrying this hardship for no reason. Over this, God still has His way.”
For more information on Sara Groves, go to: http://www.saragroves.com
Since her debut release in 2001, Conversations, Sara Groves has become one of the most critically-acclaimed artists in the Christian music industry, receiving rave reviews across the board for each recording by the likes of Billboard, and consistently topping year-end reader's polls and album of the year nods from the likes of CCM magazine, Christianity Today online and more. On her new album, Tell Me What You Know, Groves explores what she has learned over the past two years, lessons on the value of long defeats, and the defiance of hope in the face of insurmountable odds. Since the 2005 release of Add to the Beauty, Groves has been questioning just how, exactly, she is called to do that. Her answers came in a series of global conversations and experiences, from the flood-ravaged gulf of Louisiana, to the genocide memorials of Rwanda, to the testimonies of Southeast Asia sex trade survivors. These experiences showed the disparity between some of the American pursuits of comfort and wealth and the joy of joining the difficult work of social justice and engaging in the suffering of the afflicted.
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