The gifts that the three wise men brought to Jesus while He was still an infant were symbolic. Gold for a king. Frankincense for a priest. Myrrh as an essential oil for embalming. Christmas, being the time that we celebrate Christ's birth, can also be a time to reflect on who He is - King of kings, High Priest and advocate before God the Father, and sacrificial Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. To musically capture the grandeur and squalor of the first Christmas, it was time to record in one of America's great musical cities - Memphis, Tennessee. Hailed as the birth place of Rock-n-Roll and the home of the Blues, Memphis has a musical soul. Even the orchestral musicians are accustomed to playing their parts with, shall we say, a little extra barbecue sauce. Guided by Matt Tutor - producer, orchestrator, and Memphis native, Memphis musicians added the perfect texture to the melodies and lyrics of "Messiah's Manger," a 20 minute Christmas Suite composed by Dave LeMieux. The results were such that all participants wanted to record additional Christmas songs together, and thus, the Memphis Christmas Sessions were born. Click here for album liner notes. Thanks to editor/copyist Kaitlin McCarthy, orchestrations and charts are now available for download by clicking on the buttons below.
Click on the buttons below to preview and purchase MP3s, supplemental tracks, charts, and full orchestrations
Session photos by Erika Bresee, Free Air Photography