Blues Christmas: Music for the Holiday Season (Video on Website)

Blues Christmas: Music for the Holiday Season
December 16, 2009
Rhetta Akamatsu

Some people sing of "Blue Christmas" as though that is a bad thing, but these CDs will have you thinking that a "Blues Christmas" is the best possible kind!

Some things are a given on a blues Christmas CD: You will probably find "Please Come Home for Christmas," "Merry Christmas, Baby," and "Backdoor Santa" on juat about all of them. But there are other gems out there waiting to be discovered, too. Here are four great CDs you will return to year after year, all available at bargain prices:

Alligator Records Christmas Collection

Any time you have the opportunity to buy a collection from Alligator Records, you are bound to find some songs on it that will become personal favorites. In the case of the Christmas Collection, nearly every song has that potential. From the late, great Koko Taylor to Saffire, The Uppity Blues Women, from Lil' Ed and the Imperials to the immortal Charles Brown, there are great original Christmas songs and unique versions of classics. Tinsley Ellis' "Please Let Me Be Your Santa Claus" is a standout among the originals, and Elvin Bishop's "Little Drummer Boy" exemplifies the classics. But nothing sets the tone for the holidays better than Koko Taylor's opening rendition of "Merry, Merry Christmas!"

Genuine Houserockin' Christmas

Alligator Records is also the source for the amazing hour of high energy, infectious music in Genuine Houserockin' Christmas, including a great version of "Back Door Santa" by the Holmes Brothers. The added addition of great Zydeco like Marcia Ball's "Christmas Fais Do Do" fit right in. If you're tired of the same old Christmas songs every year, this is going to be a great wakeup to the potential of the season! And it's a surefire hit as party music! Other artists on the CD include Coco Montoya, contemporary great Shemekia Copeland, KoKo Taylor, of course, and all the Alligator greats you would expect.

The Best of B.B. King Christmas Collection: 20th Century Masters [ORIGINAL RECORDING REMASTERED]

This budget-priced CD is actually a remaster of the album, A Christmas Celebration of Hope, released in 2001, but if you don't have that one, definitely add this to your collection! B.B. delivers solid performances as always, with great blues numbers like "Please Come Home for Christmas" and "Back Door Santa," as well as heart-melting songs like "To Someone That I Love," making your Blue Christmas one to cherish!

Blue Yule

Rhino Records often provides some of the best opportunities to discover more obscure recordings that should not be forgotten. That is the case with Blue Yule. Here you get the incomparable Charles Brown doing "Merry Christmas, Baby," an incredible version of "Please Come Home for Christmas," featuring Edgar Winter, and great tracks by John Lee Hooker, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Louis Jordan. At 18 tracks for $12.99, this is an absolute must for your collection.

So come on..take your Christmas off cruise and give it over to the blues!
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