Christmastime’s a comin’ to the holler.
Recorded remotely in the strangest of strange years, the Infamous Stringdusters’ Dust the Halls: An Acoustic Christmas Holiday! is an instrumental mix of six religious and four secular holiday songs. Despite the absence of words, the numbers are instantly recognizable as Andy Hall’s Dobro, Andy Falco’s guitar, Chris Pandolfi’s banjo and Jeremy Garrett’s fiddle alternatively recreate the familiar vocal melodies as bassist Travis Book holds everything down.
High-energy and as tight as if the band recorded together, the album is at its strongest on tracks such as Vince Guaraldi’s Peanuts classic “Christmas is Coming” and “We Three Kings” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” which lend themselves to ensemble exploration more than tunes like “Joy to the World,” “Jingle Bells” and what passes for the title track.
Like Christmas Day itself, Dust the Halls flies by far too quickly in just 30 minutes. It’s holiday music for people who don’t particularly enjoy holiday music.