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In The Bleak Midwinter

by John Van Deusen

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O Holy Night 03:32
Silent Night 02:25


"Calming, comforting, minimalist beauty." - The Gospel Coalition.

This collection of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany hymns is meant to be listened to by candlelight or while decorating a Christmas tree. Hopefully this simple album will bring peace and calm to your winter abode. Please share it with your loved ones.

I tracked the vocals and guitars live and then overdubbed everything else.

Andrew Joslyn's string arrangements and performances are the real shining star of this album. He wrote and recorded them all in a week and a half! If you review the album, please mention his excellent creative contribution.

This album was born out of bleak times: I was the acting Director of Music, Worship and Arts at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Anacortes, WA when the Covid-19 pandemic shut down in-person worship services. We started live-streaming our services immediately and I led by myself for over a year. When Advent came, I just sort of felt like our congregants (and myself) needed to hear very gentle and calming hymns. I started playing them with my capo high on the neck in keys that forced me to sing gently. It did something good for my soul and mental health. So, I did the exact same thing when recording this album live at the Unknown.


released November 23, 2022

Produced by John Van Deusen
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Nicholas Wilbur at the Unknown - Anacortes, WA
© John Van Deusen - 2022 - JVDandme - BMI - Tablehouse Publishing

Vocals, guitars, piano/keys, bass, drums/percussion, other - John Van Deusen
String arrangements by Andrew Joslyn - violin, viola and cello performed and recorded by Andrew Joslyn at home on Bainbridge Island, WA
Additional violin - Jess Alldredge - Recorded at home in Seattle, WA
Vocal on Hark the Herald Angels Sing - Tenielle Neda - Recorded in Australia
Acoustic guitar, vocals, bass and drums recorded at The Unknown.
JVD overdubs were self-recorded while home with Covid-19.

Grandma Peggy Van Deusen
Westminster Presbyterian Church of Anacortes, WA.

Thank you: Andrew Joslyn, Nich Wilbur, Rachael Farris, Tenielle Neda, Jess Alldredge and Westminster Presbyterian Church

Cover art: Red School House (Country Scene)
1858 - George Henry Durrie American - Public Domain via the MET

All songs © Public Domain
Little Drummer Boy - Harry Simeone, Katherine Kennicott Davis, Henry Onorati © EMI Mills Music

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus - Charles Wesley
Angels We Have Heard On High - Edward Shippen Barnes, James Chadwick
Little Drummer Boy - Harry Simeone, Katherine Kennicott Davis, Henry Onorati
O Come All Ye Faithful - John Francis Wade
The First Noel - Anonymous
In The Bleak Midwinter - Christina Rossetti
Joy To The World - Isaac Watts, George Frideric Handel
We Three Kings - John Henry Hopkins Jr.
Hark The Herald Angels Sing - Felix Mendelssohn, Charles Wesley
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel - John Mason Neale
What Child Is This? - William Chatterton Dix - Greensleeves
O Holy Night - Adolphe Adam, Placide Cappeau
Go Tell It On The Mountain - Spiritual adapted by John W. Work
Silent Night - Joseph Mohr, Franz Xaver Gruber


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John Van Deusen Anacortes, Washington

Small town songsmith - Anacortes, WA.

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