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Merry White Tree in the Night     Buy    Reviews

The Elm Tree       Inside       Braver Days      

Review from Deseret Morning News
Friday, December 8, 2006
--By Carma Wadley--

Kirby Heyborne has made a name for himself on the movie screen and in recent years has also proved to be a talented musician. When he and producer Nathan DeVore decided to do this Christmas album, their only requirement was that it be nontraditional, and that's what you get, even though a few traditional carols are thrown into the mix. Heyborne gives them a mellow, ethereal tone that is fully in keeping with such original songs as "Wassail and Apple Pie," a tribute to his mother; "Snow Falls Down," a treatise on giving; and "Alleluia," which celebrates family.

— C.W. (Dec. 2006)

Comments from: Gerry Grzyb
Host of the Dr. Christmas radio shows on WRST-FM

Wow! It (Merry White Tree in the Night) will be featured on my show, and I'll get it into my column too. Super job, Kirby! It was very distinctive, while still being in the spirit of the songs themselves. Not all artists manage that.

--Gerry Grzyb (Dec. 2006)

Merry White Tree in the Night

Review from
--By Carol Swanson--

Summary: Packed with creative fluorishes that kept us hanging on every note

Now here is an extremely cool holiday album. Kirby Heyborne's Merry White Tree in the Night begins with an outrageously fine album title. The name, as it turns out, comes from artwork by Diane Packer (, and the cover's front and back reflect Packer's excellent artistry. The "Merry White Tree in the Night" print can be purchased on Packer's site.

Once you get past the great graphics, the music is amazing, too. Kirby Heyborne is a singer/songwriter with folk/pop sensibilities. This album is not long (just 33 minutes), but it is packed with creative fluorishes that kept me hanging on every note. The liner notes are a bit obscure, so it's difficult sorting out exactly what's happening from track to track, but it appears that Heyborne is personally responsible for most of the eight tracks here, and he is a big-time creative talent. The opening cut Wassail and Apple Pie is a sensational, heartfelt homage to the artist's mother, who after all "is Christmas." This addictive ditty will have you recalling every happy holiday moment from your childhood, and it sets up grand anticipation for the remaining tracks. It also incorporates Deck the Halls snippets for just the right touch.

Do not purchase this offering in hopes of hearing age-old chestnuts. Nope, this is a contemporary presentation of nontraditional fare, and if you enjoy well-crafted pop vocals (often delivered with whispery urgency) and great guitar riffs, this might be just the change-of-pace that you need. I particular liked Still, Still, Still, which delivers Heyborne's passion for winter nights (he uses wine glasses, an old piano, and a cello to recreate the sounds of a winter forest at night). Heyborne presents the lines as the sweetest lullaby, oh-so-softly delivered.

Ater reviewing scores of relatively routine holiday albums, it's a real pleasure to spin something so totally unique. Thank you, Kirby Heyborne, for a fine holiday album that will cheer those seeking creative folk/pop vocals for the holidays!

--Carol Swanson (Reviewed in 2006)