Christmas-The Players


– produced by Roxy Music’s Andy Mackay-

‘Christmas – The Players’, a superb collection of traditional carols arranged for acoustic instruments, is re-released on 10 November after a 20 year hiatus. The album is produced by Roxy Music’s Andy Mackay, executive produced by his Roxy colleague Phil Manzanera, and released on Manzanera’s label, Expression Records.

This charming instrumental acoustic album, which even the most vehement of scrooges will find hard to resist, is a collection of 33 carols performed on an assortment of instruments including the Appalachian dulcimer, banjo, mandolin, button accordion, oboe, fiddle, cello and jaw harp. From the first note, The Players find the Christmas cheer within them and vividly evoke the spirit of a rural Victorian Christmas.

All the favourites are on this album, but played in an authentic way which reminds the listener of how important carols were and are in the celebration of Christmas.

The Players comprise seven folk, blues and street musicians who Phil Manzanera knew and introduced to Andy Mackay, who then led the project on a ‘variety of reeds’ and the result was this startlingly fresh and spontaneous approach to the canon of Christmas classics. It was recorded in 1987 at Manzanera’s Gallery Studios.

The Players are:
Andy Mackay - Oboe/Cor Anglais/Soprano Sax/Whistle
Chris Turner - Harmonica/Jaw Harp/Flute/Whistle/ Cornetto/Bombard/Cymbal
Bob Morgan - Clarinet/Tenor Sax/Percussion
Dick Preston - Guitar/Banjo/Appalachian Dulcimer
Rachel Maloney - Fiddle/Button Accordion
Simon Shepherd - Guitar
Brian Barnett -Guitar

Christmas-The Players Site