Stephanie Quayle's cover of the Christmas classic "I'll Be Home for Christmas" is nearly a duet, and it's certainly an original. Find yourself hanging on every beat during this Taste of Country premiere of her music video. The jazzy creation takes unexpected turns while never straying from its Christmas roots.
Vocally, Quayle lingers on notes you'd expect her to drop as she finishes phrases toward the end of this performance. These subtle twists make the song — a Christmas carol we've all heard thousands of times — quite unusual without sacrificing familiarity. Her steel guitarist really shines, however. From the very beginning of the video, he compliments the Montana native in the way another vocalist would, weaving between her lyrics before getting to lay down a solo that's simply enchanting.
Quayle says the challenges of 2020 inspired her to record the Christmas song.
"I think a lot of us are going to be experiencing a different kind of Christmas this year," she tells ToC. "Every time I think about this song, I think about not only coming home but also the longing to be home with my family, and just knowing that even if we can't be together, we're still together, if only in my dreams."
Bozeman, Mont., is home for Quayle. Growing up, she recalls memories of Christmas at her grandparents' cabin, strolls down Main Street and gatherings that inevitably led to singing around the piano. The career of a country singer doesn't allow for many annual traditions, but the holidays are always protected in the music industry. Now that she has her own family, she says, singing at the holidays is always a part of her Christmas tradition.