Saturday, December 1, 2007

Candy Cane Children

Candy Cane Children

I know what your are saying. . . "Is this the 'Blues of the Month' or the "Semi-Annual Blues' blog ?"
Nag, nag, nag. I've been busy - back off.

Tis the season. Ho Ho Ho . . . sorry - we're not allowed to say that any more.

On with the tunage . . .

Santa Claus Is Back In Town
Elvis Presley
Christmas Album - 1957
It'd be very easy to dismiss Elvis. The sequin suits, the bad movies, the badge from Nixon, etc. Never forget, however, that he was one hell of a blues singer. Don't believe me? Ask Howlin' Wolf - "He started from the blues. If he stopped, he stopped. It's nothing to laugh at. He made his pull from blues". Wolf wouldn't lie to you.

Christmas Time, Pt. 1
Billy Boy Arnold & the Duke Robillard Band
20th Century Masters - The Christmas Collection: Blue Christmas - 1979

It's Christmas Time
Cedell Davis
It's Christmas Time - 2006
Dude only has one good hand!
He plays with his left and uses his right, crippled hand for the slide. I couldn't play a guitar this well with four.

Christmas Morning Blues
Kansas City Kitty
Where Will You Be Christmas Day? - 1934
Kansas City Kitty. Hmmm . .. great name for a stripper, no?

Please Come Home For Christmas
Charles Brown
Charles Brown Sings Christmas Songs - 1960
No, this in not Charlie Brown's Christmas, which, if you are into jazz, is quite good. Charles Brown was Ray Charles, before Ray Charles was Ray Charles.

Swollen X-Mas
2005 SSM Holiday Compilation - 2005
I know nothing about this band at all. I suspect they are local - this is from a label located in Livonia - Suburban Sprawl Music - that specializes in local indie pop/rock bands. This is got a definite blues feel to it. Not really sure if it's about Christmas, however - can't understand a word he's singing . . .

Lonesome Christmas
Lowell Fulson
Bullseye Blues Christmas -
Lowell Fulson is such an awesome artist he's included twice on this disc, not to mention I named my last dog after him. My pet's have included Earnest "Big" Crawford (dog), Willie Dixon (cat), Brownie McGhee (bird, which was eaten by Willie Dixon), Chester A. Burnette (Howlin' Wolf's real name - dog), Sunnyland Slim (goldfish, which Mrs. Otisredn accidentally boiled) and Muddy Waters (a fat cat).

Good Morning Blues
Ella Fitzgerald
Jingle Bell Jam: Jazz Christmas -
The First Lady of Song . . .

Poor Mr. Santa

Andre Williams

Poor Mr. Santa - 1997
Andre Williams is a Detroit R&B singer from the late 50's. He is best known for the songs "Bacon Fat" & "Jail Bait". Recommended listening. He released two versions of this song - one 'nice' and one 'naughty'. I'll let you
figure out which one this is.

By the way, I've included a picture of Andre's blue balls for you ->

Blue Christmas

Meditation Singers
Checker # 5057 - 1968
Not the "Blue Christmas" you are thinking of. This is a different, gospel song with a strong blues vibe.

Merry Christmas Baby
Bonnie Raitt & Charles Brown

A Very Special Christmas, Vol. 2 - 1992
This song is now so pervasive it has almost become a Christmas standard, like "Silver Bells" or "Winter Wonderland". Not bad for a blues song . . .

If Christmas Can Bring You Home

Reigning Sound

Home For Orphans - 2005
Reigning Sound is a very cool neo-garage band from Memphis. The leader, Greg Cartwright, has worked with many others including Mary Wiess (member of the Shangrilas) and my other love, the Detroit Cobras (which you can see has been equally ignored as much as this blog).

Deck The Halls With Boogie Woogie

Katie Webster
The Alligator Records Christmas Collection - 1992

Baby, It's Cold Outside
Ray Charles & Betty Carter

Ray Charles and Betty Carter - 1961
This is a pop classic which Ray turns into a blues boiler by slowing it down and adding some punchy horn charts.

Santa Claus Is Definitely Here to Stay
James Brown
James Brown's Funky Christmas - 1970
It was Christmas last year when we lost James Brown. James is another artist, like Elvis, you could easily dismiss for his public persona. But musically, he was a giant. We'll visit him more in future discs.

Sandy Claw Stole My Woman
Bobby Parker

Blues, Mistletoe & Santa's Little Helper - 1995

I Wanna Spend Christmas With You
Lowell Fulson

Jingle Blues -

The Twelve Blue Days of Christmas
Jack De Keyzer
Santa's Got Mojo! - 2002
Not a big fan of contemporary blues (read 'contemporary' as 'modern'. In my opinion it is over produced - too clean, too shiny). I do enjoy this, however. Invokes all the greats - Robert, T-Bone, BB, Muddy . . . sliding into their respective styles.

Christmas (Comes But Once A Year)
Amos Milburn
King # 5405 - 1960

Blue Christmas
Sheryl Crow
A Very Special Christmas, Vol. 3 -
"Blue Christmas" started off as a country song back in 1948. But since Elvis's familiar version in 1957, it has been the provenance of rock and blues ever since. It's always been a fine line between the three genres as it is. Ms. Crow serves up a delicious version here.

Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis

Tom Waits
Blue Valentine - 1978
Ok. You're right. This song, other than it's title, has nothing to do with Christmas. But it was either this or 2 shitty songs from Lynyrd Skynyrd. No need to send a thank you card.

Silent Night
Charlie Musselwhite
The Alligator Records Christmas Collection - 1992
I am a sucker for a well played blues harp. It does not get any better than this. On second thought, you can go ahead and send that thank you card.

This is one of 10 Christmas discs I made this year. Don't hesitate to ask if you'd like any of the others.

That's all for now . . . we'll be back with more in the new year.

Support the troops - pray for peace . . .


Danny said...

was it pre-crash skynard or post-crash...there is a difference.

joe.mares said...

post crash of course