It's never too early for Christmas. Today, Grammy-winning vocalist Michael W. Smith announced his upcoming holiday album, Michael W. Smith & Friends: The Spirit of Christmas. Set for a September 30th release, the project includes some of country music's most popular artists, including Carrie Underwood, Martina McBride, Little Big Town, Lady Antebellum, Jennifer Nettles and Vince Gill. U2 leader Bono and Michael McDonald also appear.
"I think Nashville is home to some of the most talented people on Earth. To get to sing with artists like Carrie Underwood, Lady A, Michael McDonald — really, everyone on this album — was such an honor," Smith tells Rolling Stone Country.
Produced by Smith, David Hamilton and Robert Deaton (who produces the CMA Awards for ABC), The Spirit of Christmas, with its orchestral flavor, is Smith's fourth holiday album. "David's beautiful orchestra arrangements and Robert's vision combined for some real magic in the studio," Smith raves, who shared a teaser video of recording sessions.
The singer will launch a corresponding tour, The Spirit of Christmas Tour, in the fall.
Here's the album's track list:
- The Miracle of Christmas
- It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
- Happy Holiday/Holiday Season
- Christmas Time Is Here (featuring Vince Gill)
- White Christmas (featuring Lady Antebellum)
- Somewhere in My Memory
- The Spirit of Christmas
- Silent Night (featuring Little Big Town)
- What Child Is This (featuring Martina McBride)
- Almost There (featuring Amy Grant)
- All Is Well (featuring Carrie Underwood)
- Christmas Day (featuring Jennifer Nettles)
- The Darkest Midnight (spoke word by Bono)
- Peace (with Michael McDonald)