Austin for Christmas

by Karen Mal & Will Taylor

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The followup Christmas album to our 2011 Mandolin Christmas. This time we feature Karen's singing and my violin and viola playing.

I've always loved Christmas music. It evokes the sparkle and wonder and hope of the season as immediately as the smell of pine needles and apple pie juices sizzling on the floor of a hot oven.

We decided to record a collection of half ancient and half modern songs. And by modern I refer to the mid-20th-century gems which have become almost as classic as the traditional carols.

As it turns out, the songs in both categories go together beautifully. This owes a lot to Will's loving and masterful arrangements. His delicious jazz harmonies are delivered with a pristine subtlety worthy of a quiet firelit midwinter's eve. We went for less is more: a classical guitar, a violin, a couple of violas, and an occasional trumpet line supporting the vocals. If any music is suited to this crystalline economy, it's Christmas music. - KAREN MAL

He's jazz, she's folk. Together they weave music that's sophisticated and old-fashioned at the same time. Her playful and sensual vocals, his Gypsy virtuosic violin, with four instruments between them.


released December 2, 2017

Will Taylor: violin, viola, guitar, recording
Karen Mal: vocals and mandolin
Stephen Zirkel: trumpet


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Will Taylor & Strings Attached Austin, Texas

For the past decade, Will Taylor’s group has made a name for itself by reworking iconic music like the Beatles ‘White album’, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and Rubber Soul as well as the hits of Led Zeppelin, Joni Mitchell, Pink Floyd, Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel and Jimi Hendrix—adding jazz and roots flavors along with string arrangements to lovingly assembled acoustic renditions. ... more


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Track Name: Christmas Time is Here
Christmas time is here
Happiness and cheer
Fun for all that children call
Their favorite time of the year

Snowflakes in the air
Carols everywhere
Olden times and ancient rhymes
Of love and dreams to share

Sleigh bells in the air
Beauty everywhere
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there

Christmas time is here
We'll be drawing near
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year...
Track Name: In the Bleak Midwinter
“In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
in the bleak midwinter, long ago.

What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
if I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
yet what I can I give him: give my heart.”

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