This album wins the trophy for "Most Ambiguously Named Artist Of Any Album Downloaded At Ernie (not Bert)'s Blog in 2005" and gives us an idea of what company bands were like.
The concept of the company band was to bring together employees together to foster a spirit of brotherhood and harmony through music. This same spirit would be passed to other co-workers proud of their own company band.
Many Fortune 500 companies used to have their own company bands or choruses back in the day. AT&T, General Motors, the United States Postal Service, Prudential Life, etc., etc.. When Snap-On Tools was formed back in 1920, they too latched onto the concept.
I've posted the back cover of this album partially because you can read about some of the history of this chorus and partially because you're not going to read about it anywhere else.
As for the music, it's quite good! There are some nice vocals and arrangements on this singing album of mechanics!
The first four tracks are done acappella and just when you fear it's all going to be without actual music, track five comes along.
A Christmas medley that begins with a tinny piano that conjures up images of 30 odd choral members in a union hall with recording equipment strewn everywhere. This medley runs for almost 11 minutes and contains various Christmas carols such as "Hark The Herald Angels Sing", "Joy To The World", "Angels We Have Heard On High", "O Come All Ye Faithful", parts of Handel's "Halleujah" chorus, you name it!
This leads us to the standout track on the album - "Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring". What can I say? I'm a Johann Sebastian Bach fan! It's not often you hear the vocals of this heavenly piece done. If the mechanics on this album work as well as they sing, then I want these guys to rebuild my transmission on the minivan!
The next five songs are all acapella and done beautifully, especially "Carol Of The Drum aka Little Drummer Boy" and "Silent Night". It all concludes with a fun version of "Jingle Bells" where the tinny piano comes to life and the guys in the chorus sing their hearts out because the beer keg next to the recording engineer is getting warm.
I really Enjoyed this album with a capital E!
I'd keep an eye on Ernie's blog this upcoming Christmas. He just may repost this album for your listening pleasure!
On to the next new Christmas CD in my collection...