Montana Public Radio

Storyhill Re-Imagines The Music Of Christmas

Dec 29, 2020

Since high school, Chris Cunningham and John Hermanson of Storyhill have been mining the synergistic power of harmony singing and the scenic imagery of Montana to forge their memorable, acoustic guitar-based songs. On an auspicious 2020 winter solstice, during the great confluence of Jupiter and Saturn, they chatted with Musician's Spotlight host John Floridis about their new holiday album.

Cunningham and Hermanson are eighteen albums into a three-decade recording and performing career which began in 1989 with the release of the cassette tape Chris and Johnny - a production funded by their parents - and which continues today with 2020's Bethlehem, a mix of original and re-imagined Christmas songs.

It's the duo's first holiday recording, and it leans heavily on the theme of hope for a more peaceful world. “We wanted to explore the story of a poor refugee, born in a manger, because no one would take him in,” explains Hermanson.

During the grinding stress of a life-altering pandemic, Bethlehem invites listeners to enjoy a sonic pause.

(Broadcast: Musician's Spotlight,  12/29/20. Listen on the radio Tuesdays, 7 p.m., or via podcast.)