Storyhill members Johnny Hermanson and Chris Cunningham have released Bethlehem, a Christmas album for the era. It’s serious and somber with a message and a feeling like things are going to get lighter. Join their online show celebrating the new release on December 12, 2020.
Chris and Johnny have been playing music together for more than 30 years. It’s amazing to think that they have really been a lifelong soundtrack for so many. Last summer fans gathered for a weeklong anniversary festival in Montana (Chris is in MT and Johnny is in MN) to tour the birthplace of many of their songs, to listen to the music and reunite like family. Hearing about that festival makes the holiday album seems like a natural next step.
They started the album last year – in June, in Montana. While working on it, the snow started to fall; a definite sign that they were on the right track. The music is a collection of older songs (in the public domain), songs they have written (now and years ago) and their spin on older hymns. They chose songs based on the message they convey as well as how they fit with the duo musically. It’s folk music in the vein of a Bob Dylan.
The album is peaceful and pensive. It’s not saccharine take on Christmas, it is an opportunity to drink in the mood of 2020, to wallow a little, to drink it in slowly but toast the future. This is a year that we’ll appreciate more in the rearview mirror and Bethlehem captures the limbo that we’re in.