Finest Kind

Feasts & Spirits

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Finest Kind is a trio of singers and instrumentalists based in Ottawa, Ontario that has long specialized in powerful yet sweet and warm renditions of traditional songs from England and North America, with the occasional pop or country & western song thrown in for good measure. Feasts & Spirits is their fourth release and their first Christmas album, and on this one they depart from their usual format to re-create in the studio a stage performance that has become a Yuletide tradition for the group: accompanying actor John Huston in his dramatic readings from A Christmas Carol. The group's renditions (mostly a cappella) of such traditional favorites as "Shepherds Arise," "The Holly and the Ivy," the "Gower Wassail" and "While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night" are interspersed with Huston's performances of selections from the Dickens novel, and if that renders the disc better for sitting down and paying close attention than for turning it on in the background while you have friends over for punch and gingerbread, well, so be it. Huston is a very skilled reader and the singing couldn't be finer.