Vinyl Cafe A Christmas Collection
Stuart McLean
2 CDs 7 stories
CBC Records 2005

During each live performance of the CBC radio hit The Vinyl Café host Stuart McLean tells a Dave and Morley story. A Dave and Morley story is the Canadian version of News from Lake Wobegon which means they are not repetitive and are agenda free. Of the Vinyl Café Dave and Morley stories, none is more famous or well-liked than Dave Cooks a Turkey, a Christmas story that has become a seasonal must. It is even an in joke with Vinyl Café listeners that Stuart McLean just has to mention Dave and a turkey in the same sentence to get a round of applause in honor of that tale. This classic is of course included on the 2 CD Vinyl Café A Christmas Collection along with six more seasonal misadventures involving Dave.

Aside from the many hilarious and absurd misadventures Dave has when he volunteers to cook the Christmas turkey -and you have to admit the guy’s resourceful if not well-guided, other great Vinyl Café Christmas stories on this Christmas Collection CD set by Stuart McLean include the rather different -as in Dave does little wrong here-and very touching Christmas on the Road where Dave, Morley, the kids and a friend of theirs end up spending the holiday at a Quebec motel after a particularly strong blizzard derails them from seeing Dave’s mother in Nova Scotia. This is a story of the resourcefulness people can show during the holidays and of how Sam, Dave’s son, brings Christmas to a guy who no longer believed in it.

Dave is not responsible for every Christmas mishap in Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Café stories and not every mishap is an accident. In Christmas Presents the family plays secret Santa and decides to each make a present for the other. Morley’s gift turns out to be a little more complicated to achieve than she first believe.

The 2 CD Vinyl Café A Christmas Collection also includes two stories where Dave and Morley going to a neighbor’s party. Dave’s responsibility in things going comedically wrong is somewhat moot as the poor guy is just trying to be a good neighbor. McLean’s story writing and telling abilities are at their best here again.

Vinyl Café A Christmas Collection closes with On the Roof, a story that, like Dave Cooks the Turkey, was only available on an early cassette Vinyl Café release until now. This too is good stuff.

If you are looking for a great Christmas story audio experience and comedy CD, I doubt you can do better than A Vinyl Café Christmas with Stuart McLean.

CD One:
Dave Cooks the Turkey
Ferrets for Christmas
Christmas on the Road

CD Two:
Christmas at the Turlingtons’
Polly Anderson’s Christmas Party
Christmas Presents
On the Roof


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