Frets Magazine – 2004 Review of Milo Deering’s All Acoustic Christmas Jam

With All Acoustic Christmas Jam, Milo Deering-with his refined arranging skills, Zen-like vibrato, and highly lyrical approach to Dobro, fiddle, mandolin, jaw harp, and nylon- and steel-string guitars-has given me cause to reevaluate my bah-humbug attitudes towards holiday albums and one-man-albums. Deering is a stellar session musician (he co-wrote and played guitar and fiddle on the catchy theme to Motel 6’s “We’ll leave the light on for you” series of radio spots) and it shows. Simultaneously a lethal slide player and a burning flatpicker, the multi-instrumentalist from Dallas, Texas, is also a master of restraint. Whether he’s tackling something as folksy as “What Child is This” or as orchestral and grand-scale as Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, he never loses his composure or his relaxed pocket. And when Deering’s two young daughters’ angelic voices enter the mix on “Silent Night” in glistening harmonized thirds, the genuine Christmas spirit that pours forth is warm enough to melt even the most frozen of December hearts. – Jude Gold