Atop our Christmas wish list for years has been “new music from Eden Brent”. Atop Eden Brent’s to-do list for years has been “make a Christmas album”. What better way to kick off the holiday season than announcing An Eden Brent Christmas?

This one also has a touching backstory. Soon after Eden met London trombonist/arranger Bob Dowell on the 2008 Blues Cruise, they began a relationship that included one particularly sweet tradition: they’d spend Christmases in Eden’s hometown of Greenville, Mississippi. The yuletide season had always held a special place in both their hearts, and the feeling deepened with each holiday visit.

When Eden began to feel the urge to make her first Christmas album, it was clear that Bob (now her husband, who’d moved to be with her in Greenville) should write the charts. A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, Bob had been immersed in blues, jazz and R&B for years, and arrangements were his forte.

For the sessions, Bob tapped the deep pool of Memphis instrumentalists with whom he’s played and recorded. The musicians heard here have worked with B.B., Aretha, Booker T., Dr. John, the Bo-Keys and more. This project had been years in the making, but this became a “hit it and quit it” recording. One practice, one take: this is what largely went down, with a team of Memphis stalwarts, Bob’s inspired charts and Eden’s earthy vocals sounding more Etta than Ella. Whether you’re feeling a Dickensian winter bite or basking in balmy climes, this is a warm-hearted Christmas throwback you’ll spin every year about this time!