Nashville pedal steel legend Ben Keith recorded the Christmas album Seven Gates – later reissued under the title Christmas At The Ranch – in 1994, one of only two albums ever issued under his own name during a five-decade career. While much of the album’s attention was drawn by the presence of Neil Young and Johnny Cash on a somewhat lackluster version of “The Little Drummer Boy”, this gentle, understated gem from Rusty Kershaw, Rufus Thibodeaux, and Pat McLaughlin (those familiar with Keith’s work from his association with Neil Young should also recognize the first two as VIP sidemen) is its finest moment.
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