Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Bowmans' "Make Sure the Snow Falls" Offers Rich, Beautiful Holiday Harmonies

It won't be long before stores, shopping malls and commercial radio begin flooding us with their typical blend of holiday music. I dread that day about as much as a trip to the mall on "Black Friday." It's not that I don't like holiday music obviously. What I object to is hearing the same two dozen or so bland, overplayed commercial tracks over and over again especially when there's so much creative, innovative and just plain beautiful new holiday music available. Take The Bowmans, for example. Their recent indie release Make Sure the Snow Falls offers a mix of gorgeous original songs and old holiday favorites with a unique and undeniably appealing style that's as warm and welcoming as a fire in the hearth on Christmas Eve.

Sarah and Claire Bowman are twin sisters who have been singing and performing together since childhood. Originally from Iowa, they're now based in California, although they've spent a good portion of the last half dozen years performing in venues within and far beyond the Golden State. Sarah is a trained vocalist and cellist, while Claire's principal focus has been the visual arts. Often compared to The Roches and The Indigo Girls, their voices blend beautifully and naturally to create a rich and seamless sound that's especially well suited for spirited holiday gatherings.

And if you're looking for imaginative gift ideas, Claire Bowman has just completed a wonderful book called Mert, the Anxious Evergreen, which tells a compelling Christmas tale with the help of dozens of Claire's unforgettably beautiful color illustrations. Check it out!

I first learned about The Bowmans from Stubby's House of Christmas, an excellent website that's become very popular over the past several years among holiday music enthusiasts like myself. Stubby's has been an especially valuable source for information about new releases, indie artists and less-established performers, and I've learned an awful lot from this blog. Sadly, Stubby's recently announced plans to suspend operation. That's bad news for the site's many followers, but we're grateful for all of the interesting reports that have been posted over the years. I'm hoping "Stubby" may still post occasionally on his companion blog, Labor Quotes, which offers information and comment on labor and political issues from a decidedly progressive perspective.

UPDATE (12/10/13):  The excellent holiday music blog Merry and Bright! recently posted a terrific interview with the Bowman sisters, which I enthusiastically recommend. It's available HERE.

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