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Becka deHaan | Long-Awaited, Unexpected (Songs for Christmas)

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Spiritual: Inspirational Folk: Folk Blues Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Long-Awaited, Unexpected (Songs for Christmas)

by Becka deHaan

A traditional yet soulful spirited sound!
Genre: Spiritual: Inspirational
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. No Room At the Inn
3:27 $0.99
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2. In Summer, Still Unfurled
4:59 $0.99
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3. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
4:19 $0.99
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4. Still Running
3:08 $0.99
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5. Now I Have Seen (Simeon's Song)
3:15 $0.99
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6. Of the Father's Love Begotten
2:45 $0.99
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7. O Holy Night
5:01 $0.99
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8. Rise Up Shepherd and Follow
3:45 $0.99
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9. Hark! the Herald Angels Sing (Instrumental)
2:23 $0.99
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10. That's All We Know (The Carol of the Magi)
6:17 $0.99
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11. The Baby On the Hay
4:50 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
“… [Anna] arrived and gave thanks to God, and spoke about the child to all who were waiting for God to redeem Jerusalem.”
Luke 2:38

I chose to record this album at Ripple Effect Music, well before I juxtaposed that company name with the works of legendary Canadian songwriter, Bruce Cockburn, who brilliantly refers to the redemptive Christmas event as a ripple effect—a stone thrown onto a stagnant river: While such a stone is unexpected, the river gladly takes it, running on to the long-awaited sea. By this analogy, I am reminded of those who made room for, embraced, and followed the unexpected, so that all they had long awaited was fulfilled in the infant Messiah. My prayer is for us to do the same: in light of the Resurrection and in anticipation of the Second Coming, never to lose the thrill of the Incarnation—no matter the season.

“Why should this great thing happen to me, that my Lord’s mother comes to visit me?”
Luke 1:43

Thanks, Becka

Music Review: Becka deHaan - Long-awaited, Unexpected: Songs for Christmas

Wed, Nov 21, 2012.

Some Christmas albums are meant to be thrown on at parties and gatherings, almost background music to the real event, the socializing. They have familiar carols and novelty numbers, maybe an original or two, and you don't have to pay close attention to them. That's probably the majority of them, and they'll be a hundred new ones come out this year by assorted stars. I've already received a few, from the likes of Rod Stewart, even the return of Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta, for the first time since the Grease soundtrack. These will get more play because of who they are rather than what's on the disc.

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The smaller number of new Christmas albums are meant to be listened to as complete works, and instead of being tossed together at a few sessions, are well-thought out, include a higher number of originals, and a lot of care and love. I think that's what we have here from Fredericton pianist, songwriter and singer Becka deHaan. It's called Long-awaited, Unexpected: Songs For Christmas. deHaan has few years of performing and recording behind her, having been in the popular local group Vinyl2bits, before going solo with her first album Wait For the Wind in 2010. That earned her a lot of acclaim in the gospel and inspirational circles. She received nominations for best gospel album at the East Coast Music Awards, and best Spiritual album at the Music New Brunswick awards. And she won the national Covenant Award for best inspirational album from the Gospel Music Association Canada. In addition to that, she was the winner of the first iFactor, a national competition held by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. All in all, a strong debut and breakout.

Making Christmas albums is actually a tough job, if you want to rise above the standards. Since so many people, including tons of big stars do them, you have to come up with something to set you apart. I think what makes this album such a strong set, and something listenable from start to finish, is the quality and choice of material, and some really strong playing. de Haan herself is a talented pianist and performer, and there are some great musicians and arrangements here, everything from tight electric guitar solos to string parts, to beautiful backing vocals. If you want to try to lump this into a category, good luck, other than Christmas. There are originals, vocal pop songs with lovely melodies. There are new arrangements of traditional carols. There's some uptempo spiritual stuff, the old-school stuff that gave birth to boogie-woogie when it got secularized. There's a country-folk number. There's classical, too, the instrumental version of those beloved hymns, Mendelssohn providing the music to Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.

Each of these styles is handled really well, and two things stand out to me. First, the quality of the originals is really high, these are well-writen numbers, no cliche'd Christmas themes, she's not trying to re-write Frosty the Snowman. Instead, these are personal reflections of the spiritual side of Christmas, the magic she truly feels, not some consumer version. Also, deHaan has taken great care, and developed new ideas to mix in the traditional numbers, from carols to spirituals. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel is taken at a slow pace, almost haunting, to match the words at the start, the people of Israel in captivity, with only a single keyboard note behind. Then the instruments build as we get to the "rejoice" section, as the author and singer predict the coming of the saviour.

Through it all, deHaan sings wonderfully, especially switching from style to style. This will make a nice Christmas concert, and that's exactly what's coming up; she'll launch the disc Sunday December 2nd, 6PM, at Smythe Street Cathedral in Fredericton. It is a free event, open to the public. And the disc is for sale as well, in Fredericton you can get it at The Lighthouse bookstore, and Tony's Music Box, and on line for all at www.beckadehaan.com

BECKA'S BIO

Becka deHaan was born Rebekah Joy Thiessen in Winnipeg on July 11, 1984. Premature birth deprived her of all but light perception at the age of two months. A native of St. Stephen, New Brunswick, she was playing the piano before she could walk--and now performs under her mother's maiden name of deHaan.

She received her certificate of Grade 10 piano from the Royal Conservatory of Music upon high school graduation in 2002—and in 2006 earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Canadian Mennonite University, majoring in Biblical and Theological Studies and minoring in English literature.

Becka’s talents are many: she writes and performs her own music, playing piano, flute and harmonica. Her vocal and piano gifts boast a diverse range of musical genres from folk to rock to blues to country gospel.

Her performances always leave a strong impression with the audience, whether it be the tear streamed faces of the 300+ audience members on Parliament Hill at the Senate for National Child’s Day in November 2008 to the standing ovations and cheers from the sold-out crowd at the “UltraSounds” benefit concert for the Stan Cassidy Rehab Centre in February 2009 at The Playhouse theatre in Fredericton.

Becka’s talent and energy have been propelling her to even greater heights, namely, her recent performance for over 1000 attendees of The Canadian Social Forum, hosted by the Canadian Council on Social Development at the Telus Centre in Calgary in May 2009.

Additionally, in August 2009, Becka was crowned winner of the first iFactor, a national competition held by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. The prize was her collaboration in a show as the opening act for Juno nominee, Terry Kelly in Winnipeg in October, 2010.

From 2008 to 2011, she was also keyboardist and lead female vocalist for Fredericton's showband, Vinyl2Bits.

March 2010 saw the release of her debut, full-length album, “Wait for the Wind”—an album showcasing deHaan’s many talents as a vocalist, instrumentalist (piano/harmonica), composer and lyricist. It has earned nominations for 2010 Spiritual Recording with music New Brunswick, for a 2010 Covenant Award--Inspirational Album of the Year--with Gospel Music Association Canada, and for a 2011 East Coast Music Award-Gospel Recording of the Year.

Her second album, "Long-Awaited, Unexpected," was released in October, 2012--a Christmas album highlighting her development in performance, writing and arranging, with original reflections and arrangements of traditional carols.

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