The holiday season got off to a â€˜wonderfulâ€™ start today with the digital release of the two-song single by singer/songwriter Jolie Holland and soul icon Booker T. Jones. In the most heart-felt collaboration of the year, Holland and Jones met to record the classic Louis Armstrong track â€œItâ€™s A Wonderful World,â€ in honor of the songâ€™s 40th anniversary.
Called a â€œlovely songâ€ by USA Today, the two tracks were made available for download today on iTunes and Amazon.com, and can be heard on the USAToday.com podcast at http://blogs.usatoday.com/popcandy/2007/11/podcast-the-lif.html.
Holland, considered â€œnever less than charmingâ€ by Billboard magazine, has been growing in acclaim with each of her three lauded releases, and was recently played and praised by Bob Dylan on his XM Radio show â€œTheme Time Radio Hour.â€ While she is better known for her songs of heartbreak and turmoil, Hollandâ€™s uplifting performance of â€œItâ€™s a Wonderful World,â€ was called a â€œjoyful protest and precious giftâ€ by Magnet magazine.
Jones, founder of the hugely popular Booker T and the MGs, felt Armstrongâ€™s song to be as fitting now as it was 40 years ago, when it was written as a sort of salve to the racial and political turmoil taking place in the US in the 1960â€™s. â€œIâ€™m hoping itâ€™ll be a timely, refreshing uplift for music listeners,â€ says Jones. â€œIâ€™m hoping itâ€™s going to be something to pick people up and to reaffirm hope and beauty â€“ to remind them that there is beauty in the world. We hear so much about whatâ€™s wrong and no one is really saying that the world is a beautiful place. It still is a beautiful wonderful place.â€