Reischman & Jaybirds Release Holiday CD Inspired by Pete Seeger's Stepmother!

John Reischman & The Jaybirds -  On A Winter’s Night. To celebrate the deepening of winter and the coming of the holiday season, all-star West Coast bluegrass/roots ensemble John Reischman & The Jaybirds are releasing their new EP, On A Winter’s Night.

It’s a lovely romp through the snowy backwoods of American roots music, inspired in part by the classic American Folk Songs for Christmas by composer Ruth Crawford Seeger (stepmom to Pete Seeger).

First a book, then an LP and CD, the music Seeger compiled has inspired generations of musicians, but it also gave John Reischman a focal point for a new recording.


1. I Heard From Heaven Today
2. Breaking Up Christmas
3. Oh Mary, Where Is Your Baby
4. Oh, Watch the Stars
5. Christmas Eve
6. Joseph and Mary (The Cherry Tree Carol)
7. A Roving On A Winter's Night
8. Shine Like a Star in the Morning

It was a chance for John to showcase the talents of his stellar band, breaking The Jaybirds into different small ensembles for each track Image635538087814866862and giving each vocalist and instrumentalist a chance to shine.

Staffed by some of the best acoustic musicians in North America, The Jaybirds weave an acoustic music tapestry behind these wintry songs and tunes.

On a Winter’s Night features John Reischman & The Jaybirds in fine form, each member clearly relishing the opportunity to turn in a new vision of these beautiful and evocative old songs.

Bassist and vocalist Trisha Gagnon, a well-known solo roots artist in Canada, opens the album with her stunning take on the old spiritual “I Heard From Heaven Today,” and continues with the Child Ballad The Cherry Tree Carol (“Joseph and Mary”).

Respected bluegrass guitarist Jim Nunally brings his vocals to the Doc Watson classic “A Roving On A Winter’s Night.”

Ace fiddler Greg Spatz and masterful banjo picker Nick Hornbuckle clearly delight in one of the album’s instrumentals (“Breaking Up Image635538089109898673Christmas”), spinning banjo and fiddle lines around each other.

The Jaybirds break into a quartet for a rousing bluegrass rendition of the classic “Oh Mary, Where Is Your Baby” and then close the album with John shining on mandolin for “Shine Like A Star in the Morning.”

With so much talent, The Jaybirds operate as an incredibly tight unit, while John Reischman’s clear, cool playing on mandolin, mandola, and octave mandolin rings out as a beacon.

In a marketplace flooded with virtuosic ensembles, John Reischman & The Jaybirds have found a recipe to stand out from the rest: they go back to the roots of bluegrass and old-time music for their inspiration, then spin these roots into a new sound.

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