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The holiday season is upon us, and for Andrew Peterson, that means hitting the road for his 12th annual Christmas tour. Since writing the music for Behold the Lamb of God a dozen years ago, and releasing an album of the same title in 2004, the folksy singer-songwriter has performed the popular Yuletide show hundreds of times throughout North America.

This year, Peterson will do 16 shows in 18 days, concluding, as always, with a concert at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium—a must-see event that has featured such guests as Alison Krauss, Phil Keaggy, Fernando Ortega, Buddy Miller, and Nickel Creek.

Behold the Lamb of God, one of the best Christmas albums in decades, tells the story of Christ's coming with 12 original songs—beginning with Old Testament prophecies and the Passover, all the way through "Matthew's Begats" and the title track.

In recent years, Peterson has also gained notice as a children's author. The second book in his Wingfeather Saga series, North! Or Be Eaten, won the 2010 Christy Award for Young Adult Fiction. The third, The Monster in the Hollows, released in May, and the fourth and final book, The Warden and the Wolf King, will release in late 2012.

Question & Answer

What inspired your Christmas album?

I took an Old Testament survey class in Bible college in the mid-'90s, and it was the first time I realized that the Old Testament was as much about Jesus as the New. It just lit up my imagination, which sparked this idea: What if we could convey that through a cycle of songs about the coming of Jesus into the world?

Did you have any idea that the Christmas tour would become so popular?

No, but we hoped it would. We also dreamed about doing it at the Ryman Auditorium. I wanted it to be a blessing to Nashville. ...

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December 2011

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