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Debi's newest release is a collection of re-mixed, re-sung and/or re-mastered audience favorites in a variety of musical stylings. Each of the songs is paired with various holidays throughout the year... a holiday for every hit! The CD features a duet with Tom Paxton on a song they wrote together (Marry Me Again); and includes guest appearances by Doc Watson (Pie, Keep on the Sunny Side), Mike Auldridge (Pampa Texas, Cupid), Al Petteway (Pampa Texas, Mother's Hands, Haunted, Angel in My Arms), Mark O'Connor (The Traveler, Sunny Side), three of the Four Bitchin' Babes (Pass it On) and The Smith Sisters (The Traveler, Sunny Side).
"On Debi Smith’s latest album Hits & Holidays the vocalist with the three-octave range–– a member of the much loved U.S. folk group the Four Bitchin’ Babes and The Smith Sisters––turns her gorgeous vocals to an array of songs celebrating everything from Christmas to Collector Car Appreciation Day (That’s July 9th, by the way!).
The delight is that the diverse collection works beautifully. Although Smith has a voice that challenges the mastery of household-name divas, she never allows her styling to get overly stuffy or maudlin. Instead, she balances sentimentality with just the right amount of wit to make most of the album a play-all-year spin.
Doc Watson, Mike Auldridge, Tom Paxton and Marcy Marxer are among the artists who make appearances on this recent release. But despite the A-list guests, Smith’s vocals steal the show.
The classic ‘O Holy Night,’ ‘Pie,’ a cover of a Watson song, and ‘Keep on the Sunny Side,’ (upon which she duets with Watson) are among the stand-out tracks. Perhaps the most stunningly beautiful track, though, is ‘Mother’s Hands.’ Smith, a parent herself, sings with the heartfelt wisdom of someone who has experienced the joys and sorrow of life and love. But, again, the songs on this album don’t take listeners on a sentimental journey. For pure fun, take a listen to ‘Chevy Impala,’ which Smith wrote with her husband Michael Jaworek.
The bottom line: Whether it’s a holiday or not, Smith’s latest album is a hit. "
- Nancy Dunham (Folking.com, No Depression Magazine)
"I’m on record as supporting unilateral drone strikes on performers who make holiday records. (Dylan’s Christmas album, anyone?) I am, however, willing to give the stand-down order for Debi Smith’s foray into seasonal merriment. First of all, she has a seriously great voice; it has depth, power, clarity, and chutzpah. No wonder she’s both a beloved solo performer and a mainstay of Four Bitchin’ Babes and The Smith Sisters. If you’ve any doubt about how good she really is, listen to her out-muscle a string orchestra on “O Holy Night.” We’re talking diva territory on that one. The other thing in her favor is that she has an expansive view of holidays—not just the mauling mall litany of Christmas irritants, but a calendar’s worth of offerings. I did not know that January 23 was National Pie Day, but I’m feeling festive about that one, and I’m as giddy about Smith’s cover of Doc Watson’s “Pie” as I am of her duet with Watson on “Keep on the Sunny Side.” They’re calling that a New Year’s song and that’s good enough for me. Nor did I know that March 20 was National Proposal Day or that May 4 was Renewal Day, but I’m glad she collaborated with Tom Paxton on the tender “Marry Me Again.” Canada Day coming up? Check out Smith’s “Niagara Falls.” Need a little something extra for Mother’s Day? Smith’s “Mother’s Hands” is rightly a beloved standard. Want to go a little over the top? How about “Chevy Impala” for Collector Car Appreciation Day? Mark your calendars; it’s coming up on July 9. "
-Rob Weir of the The Valley Advocate, Off Center Views