November 26, 2023

The Sounding Joy from Elizabeth Mitchell {Giveaway}

You might know that my kids and I are big fans of Elizabeth Mitchell's music.  We listen to it over and over in the car, and I can honestly say I don't tire of it.
When I saw that she was releasing a new album from Smithsonian Folkways, filled with seasonal and traditional Christmas tunes, I was eager to listen.
This album appeals to all ages, and taps into the collection of folk carols from Ruth Crawford Seeger's (mother of musicians Mike and Peggy Seeger and stepmother of Pete Seeger) 1953 songbook, American Folk Songs for Christmas, which I had not heard of before listening to The Sounding Joy.
 Seeger's music shares the spirit of community and Christmas prior to the commercialization of the holiday.  I admire that Elizabeth Mitchell is working to keep such songs in our collective American songbook, rather than letting them fade into oblivion.
Here's a sneak peek at one of the songs, Little Bitty Baby:
There are so many songs on this album that I was unfamiliar with, but was pleasantly pleased to hear.  Joining Mitchell on this album are quite a few other musicians and artists like Natalie Merchant, Dan Zanes, Happy Traum, and even special guest Peggy Seeger.  It's truly a collaboration unlike Elizabeth Mitchell's other albums (which tend to have just one or two guests) in that there are so many different voices and styles here.  In January, February, the Last Month of the Year, the vibe is more of a gospel choir than a folk ballad, which is a refreshing change.

The setlist is quite extensive for a Christmas album.

The Sounding Joy Tracklist:
1. Oh, Mary and the Baby, Sweet Lamb
2. Mary Had a Baby
3. Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow (feat. Mike Merenda)
4. January, February (Last Month of the Year) (feat. Amy Helm and Marco Benevento)
5. Joseph and Mary (The Cherry Tree Carol) (feat. Natalie Merchant)
6. Shine Like a Star in the Morning (feat. Simi Stone)
7. Joy to the World (feat. Jay Ungar)
8. Christmas Day in the Morning (feat. Peggy Seeger)
9. Mother’s Child (Child of God) (feat. Peggy Seeger)
10. Sing-a-Lamb (feat. Dan Zanes and Suzan Lori-Parks)
11. Great Big Stars
12. Baby Born Today (feat. The Silver Hollers - Amy Helm, Ruthy Ungar and Chris Wood, with Larry Campbell)
13. Ain’t That a-Rockin’ All Night
14. Cradle Hymn
15. Bright Morning Stars Are Rising
16. Sing Hallelu (feat. Elizabeth Clark-Jerez)
17. The First Noel
18. The Blessings of Mary (feat. Larry Campbell)
19. Oh, Watch the Stars (feat. Aoife O’Donovan)
20. Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming
21. Mary Was the Queen of Galilee (feat. Gail Ann Dorsey and Joan Osborne)
22. Silent Night
23. Singing in the Land (feat. Natalie Merchant, Happy Traum, and John Sebastian)
24. Children, Go Where I Send Thee (feat. Natalie Merchant, Amy Helm, Ruthy Ungar, Gail Ann Dorsey, Dan Zanes, Aoife O'Donovan, Simi Stone)

I'm sure you'll see some songs or some singers you recognize. It's a lovely and meaningful audible treat for the holiday season, especially if you're interested in cultivating traditional Christmas values and a folksy back-to-basics celebration of the season.

And if you'll be in New York on the 14th of December (Saturday), she's playing an 11am concert at Symphony Space.  You can get tickets HERE.

One lucky reader will win a copy of The Sounding Joy!
Please leave a comment here about which song you'd like to hear.  I'll pick a winner randomly on the morning of December 4th, so that I can hopefully get the prize to you before Christmas. Good luck!
Disclosure: I received a sample copy of The Sounding Joy for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

UPDATE: #2, Tara is the winner via Thanks for entering!


  1. #20. Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming

    I've only ever heard an instrumental version of this song, and would love to hear it with vocals.

  2. #19 Oh Watch the Stars...never heard it before but I love a starry night! This would be a nice break from Colter's requests for me to sing "Jingle Bells" over and over and over again.

  3. I'd like to hear silent night as it's my favorite carol.

  4. Shine like a Star in the Morning" sounds good--I'll bet they're all good, though. Mitchell's voice is beautiful and her sound is so relaxed.

  5. I would like to listen to Bright Morning Stars Are Rising


I'm a good listener...comment away!

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