The annual Noël Nights holiday show was star-studded and mournful. The event is traditionally hosted by members of the Wainwright family, and has taken place all over the country, but on December 18 it was in Nashville and the country singers came out to croon.
Rolling Stone reports that Rufus Wainwright was joined by Alison Krauss and Jamey Johnson on stage at the Ryman Auditorium for a rendition of “Go Tell It On a Mountain,” which I always forget is sometimes considered a Christmas carol, even though the lyrics are pretty explicitly about Jesus. It is! Krauss also crooned a very tragic version of “Silver Bells,” already the most depressing of carols:
The two-night even additionally saw Emmylou Harris, who sang Dolly Parton’s classic “Coat of Many Colors” with Rufus. It’s not exactly a holiday song, but does celebrate the gifts of love that can be found in even really crappy presents:
Much like Christmas, the music of the season is double-sided. Joyful, yet tinged with the sadness that comes at the darkest time of the year, stirring memories and feelings that can best be kept at bay with massive feasts, shining lights, and the company of family and friends. Also an acoustic guitar.