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Bryan Lubeck, Welcome Winter Review

by December 18, 2023

Bryan Lubeck, Welcome Winter Review

Bryan-Lubeck-CUR-CDBryan Lubeck’s Welcome Winter is a stellar holiday album, seamlessly fusing traditional melodies with innovative acoustic arrangements. This album, an eagerly awaited follow-up to his critically acclaimed We Three Strings, further cements Lubeck’s reputation as a creative guitarist and an imaginative artist.

At the heart of Welcome Winter is Lubeck’s signature Spanish guitar, around which a symphony of violins, cellos, dulcimers, melodicas, percussion, vibraphones, and other unique acoustic instruments gracefully orbit. This intricate collection of sounds enhances the holiday classics and introduces Lubeck’s original compositions, adding new dimensions to the traditional holiday music landscape.

Lubeck plays lead guitar and rhythm guitar throughout the album. Ryan Herma joins him on rhythm guitar,Bryan-Lubeck-1 mandolin, production, and some arrangements. Nick Bisesi on flute, Erik Rumsa on violin, Katherine Hughes on violin, Lewis Hul Stahl on violin, Matthew Agnew on cello, Ted Yoder on dulcimer, Joel Norman on vibraphone, Luke Ratley on percussion, Nate Lacny on percussion, Jon Paul on bass, John Erickson on melodica, Eric Salazar on clarinet, Neil Artwick on piano, and Don Stiernberg on mandolin.

The album opens with a vivid rendition of “Deck the Halls,” showcasing Lubeck’s talent for blending expressive guitar layers with the vibrant textures of strings. His melodic solo, closely intertwined with the song’s theme, displays his adeptness at weaving improvisational elements into familiar tunes.

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” is presented in a jubilant manner, highlighting Lubeck’s skill in breathing new life into well-known melodies. The acoustic guitar, imbued with a romantic essence, is richly complemented by the deep sounds of the violin.

In “The Christmas Song,” a stunning solo guitar introduction sets the stage for an enriched performance, further elevated by Salazar’s emotive flute playing. The duet arrangement is thoughtful, allowing listeners to immerse themselves in the composition’s nuanced hues and holiday sentiments.

“Mary Did You Know” features a serene arrangement with steel and nylon-strung guitars. Lubeck’s relaxed, lyrical interpretation of the melody and Agnew’s cello create a rich, calming atmosphere. The guitar solo, characterized by its well-crafted elegance, turns this track into a relaxing holiday masterpiece.

A revisited version of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” from “We Three Strings” presents a contrasting vibe, starting somberly before letting the guitar take center stage, maintaining a serious undertone. The string work is lovely, lending the song a powerful second half.

Bryan-Lubeck-1“Carol of the Bells” stands out with its lush guitar chords, mellow strings, and flute accompaniment. The fusion of contemporary jazz, folk, and traditional holiday music creates an enchanting soundscape. The track is particularly memorable for its combination of Lubeck’s jazz-influenced Spanish guitar solo and the vibrant flute melodies, making for an outstanding rendition of this classic Christmas tune.

Overall, Welcome Winter is a testament to Bryan Lubeck’s artistic evolution and his ability to create a holiday album that feels both fresh and familiar. It’s a collection of songs that invites listeners to a reflective, joyous holiday experience, making it a compelling addition to any seasonal music collection.


Bryan Lubeck


Welcome Winter


Vineyard Productions

Release Date

November 3, 2023

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