Cold Enough To Snow
By blending the styles that she knows so well, Stacy Sullivan has created a sound that is all her own and a Christmas album that is truly unique. Working again with her brilliant guitarist, George Doering and a band that is second to none, this is a recording that is likely to become a perennial favorite.
Praise for Cold Enough To Snow:
“The album may be called Cold Enough to Snow, but Stacy Sullivan creates such a warm and cozy feeling that you won’t be feeling a chill. But “Cold Enough to Snow” is an underexposed song by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz and I’m happy to find her including it on the CD. Much in the same way that Mr. Schwartz in his liner notes wonders, “Why isn’t Stacy Sullivan already famous?” I have wondered why this delicately excellent song about a break-up hasn’t been recorded more. It’s from a 1993 movie called Life with Mikey and I remember falling in love with it on the soundtrack CD. Stacy’s wistful version captures you right away with the opening line, “Where did summer go/ How’d I miss the change of season?” In this and another downhearted song, Joni Mitchell’s “River,” she avoids plunging into the depths of depression, sounding bruised but not broken.
In “Christmas Morning, 1969″ (written by Stacy’s brother and sister Tim and Heather) the sights, sounds and smells specified make for a lyric that paints a nostalgic scene not without a dose of 1969 realities (“generations clashed, dreams were dashed and torn”).
Heather is on piano on this recording, with Gary Ferguson on drums. But it’s the guitarists who are like co-stars on this album: Kevin Dukes, John Pierce and George Doering (who also plays mandolin and dobro). It’s outstanding work, with the arrangements by Dick Wells all thoughtful, whether reverential (“Ave Maria,” “Away in a Manger”) or not.
Pick a track, any track, and what comes through is sincerity. Stacy’s airy and tender sound is ingratiating. On this album, her third solo CD, she sounds very comfortable and at ease with the material and makes it all accessible. She’s elegant without ever sounding the least bit haughty. Stacy retains a mix of country, folk and pop influences in her natural phrasing and sound. She sings with care, but it doesn’t sound studied. All this is for the good and the guitar accompaniments make this a really refreshing change from all the big-orchestra and commercial Christmas recordings.
The album ends with a sentimental leave-taking wish, “Angels on Your Pillow,” a rarely heard blessing Peggy Lee wrote for her daughter, with a melody by Paul Horner. It’s a graceful and optimistic conclusion for a radiant album. All is calm, all is bright.”
— Rob Lester, Sound Advice
“Wow. Stacy Sullivan is incredibly talented, and her Cold Enough to Snow is superb. Having reviewed perhaps five million holiday albums over the years, it takes quite a bit to knock me off my reviewer’s chair, but Sullivan managed to do just that. She possesses an A+ voice, an elegant/earthy alto brimming over with emotion and warmth. This album is sophisticated country cabaret with serious jazz/pop undertones. Just amazing! The little girl from Boggy Depot, Oklahoma, has come a long way, presenting some of the very best pipes I have ever heard, period. Her talents should not be surprising; after all, she hails from the musical Sullivan clan (matriarch Elizabeth and children Stacy, K.T., Tim, and Heather). Sister Heather plays the piano here; she and brother Tim display their songwriting abilities on the nostalgic “Christmas Morning, 1969″ (listening to this fine tune provides a terrific time travel experience). The song selection on Cold Enough to Snow is outstanding–the album combines ancient sacred pieces like “Silent Night” and “Ave Maria” with contemporary carols like “Some Children See Him.” Sullivan also throws in some winter-related pieces that are not strictly holiday-tied, but are terrific inclusions nonetheless (numbers like Joni Mitchell’s “River” and the title track “Cold Enough to Snow”). The artist is exceptional on classics like “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”; her voice is so effortlessly pure and passionate that you are swept away before you know it. Sullivan’s treatment of “River,” a long-time favorite, is a revelation. Usually, the number is steeped in dark melancholy; this version carries a warmer soul and a sense of hope. “Away in a Manger” and “Silent Night” reflect a delightful, distinctly country sentiment, and Sullivan’s profoundly beautiful “Ave Maria” will send shivers up your spine. Cold Enough to Snow is excellent music, through and through. Stacy Sullivan is a bona fide cabaret star who stands ready to sweep you off your feet this holiday season. Let her!”
— Carol Swanson, Christmas Reviews.Com
“When I first heard Stacy Sullivan’s previous CD, “West on 40″, my immediate response was: “Why isn’t this girl famous?” Listening to this new Christmas CD, or perhaps to describe it more accurately, winter CD- it includes a lovely version of Joni Mitchell’s “River” a haunting “Angels on Your Pillow”, and a pleasingly melancholy rendition of Alan Menken’s and my “Cold Enough to Snow”, none of which are technically Christmas songs- my admiration for her has only increased. Her effortlessly evocative vocals, her unfailingly tasty guitar, and her fresh and personal approach to every song she chooses, including Christmas carols that in other hands would seem over-familiar, make this collection an unmitigated pleasure to listen to. I ask it again: “Why isn’t Stacy Sullivan already famous?”
— Stephen Schwartz, Composer
“I’ve reviewed over 100 Christmas albums and, after reminding myself of them while preparing this review, I know that this is the best of them all, despite those other albums being recorded by many of my all-time favorite singers. Back in the sixties, the Beatles did a magical mystery tour. Now you can roll up for another magical mystery tour, in which you will discover Stacy Sullivan’s musical artistry. Stacy relates to the song, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” in some special way as she delivers one of the finest versions of this song that I’ve ever heard. I’ve listened to several incredible versions of “Away in a Manger”, but Stacy and her musicians easily match those versions-indeed, this may be the best of them all. However, even ahead of that, my favorite track here is “Ave Maria”, which I’ve never previously heard with a simple acoustic guitar backing. This song provides a severe technical test for any singer, ruthlessly exposing any vocal weakness. By including it here, Stacy leaves nobody in any doubt that she is world-class singer. I compared Stacy’s version with other covers of this song, including those by Jewel, Barbra Streisand and Elaine Paige (three of the finest female voices I’ve ever heard who all sing the song superbly) and Stacy’s version is definitely my favorite. This is a fairly mellow album, ideal for playing during those quieter moments around Christmas. It will appeal especially to fans of folk, country and bluegrass music who enjoy their music in a fairly traditional setting, but it may also appeal to fans of small jazz combos and light orchestral music who appreciate musical artistry at its finest.”