Brian Fallon will explore his religious connections on a new solo album of well-known Christian hymns. The Gaslight Anthem leader and singer-songwriter’s Night Divine will be released November 5th and includes a version of “The Virgin Mary Had One Son,” released on Wednesday as a preview of the project.
Fallon keeps “The Virgin Mary Had One Son” close to its folk-standard origins, adding some shaken percussion and low, sustained piano notes to complement his acoustic guitar arpeggios. Fallon sings with a mixture of awe and solemnity that fits a retelling of the Christian savior’s birth.
“I heard Odetta sing an incredible live version of ‘Virgin Mary Had One Son,’ and it was actually one of the performances that inspired me to learn the piano. Joan Baez sang it back in the Sixties too,” Fallon said in a release.
While not exactly a Christmas album — there are zero secular pop standards here — Night Divine does include seasonal spirituals like “Silent Night,” “The First Noel,” “Angels We Have Heard on High,” and “O Holy Night” in the mix. Those are accompanied by hymns like “Amazing Grace,” “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms,” and “Nearer, My God, to Thee” for a total of 10 tracks.
In December, Fallon will play five solo shows at the Crossroads in Garwood, New Jersey, for his annual holiday residency. He’ll return to the road with his band the Howling Weather for a European tour that begins in April 2022.
Night Divine track listing:
- “The Virgin Mary Had One Son”
- “Amazing Grace”
- “O Holy Night”
- “Nearer, My God, to Thee”
- “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms”
- “The First Noel”
- “Sweet Hour of Prayer”
- “Angels We Have Heard on High”
- “Silent Night”
- “The Blessing”