Talk about stocking stuffers! Evidence records went all out on this compilation; beautifully produced by Carla Olson. They assembled an all star cast with some of the best performers on the current blues scene. The magic of this happening is a lineup of players that under normal circumstances, wouldn't be paired together. Everyone has their circuit of clubs, festivals, and concert halls. For instance, Otis Rush could be playing Europe while Son Seals is hitting the Chicago clubs. Incidentally, Otis and Son click together on track #16, "We Wish You A Merry Christmas!" Tommy Castro and Corey Harris, on "We Three Kings," Kim Wilson's harp, along with guitarists Michael Hill and Roy Gaines, on "White Christmas,"- too much for words-one of my favorites! Okay, you got the above mentioned, now let's take a look at the other good folks: Jake Andrews, Sugar Blue, Barry Goldberg, Alvin Youngblood Hart (lap steel guitar!), Michael Burks, Charlie Musselwhite, Paul Oscher, Roy Rogers, Guitar Shorty, Walter Trout, Joe Louis Walker, Ernie Watts, Kris Wiley, Kim Wilson, and Rusty Zinn. And how can you top the house band: Denny Freeman (guitar), Phil Upchurch (electric bass/a special note on Phil: He started out on bass early in his career and switched to guitar. Phil is one of the most accomplished guitarists in the world. In the realms of jazz and blues, Phil's name is solid.), Deacon Jones (Hammond B3 organ-Thank God for the B3-love it!), and Alvino Bennett on drums. And on this session-the horn section: Tom Jr. Morgan (saxophone), Johnny V (trumpet), and Rick Moring on trombone. The songs; all Christmas standards: "Winter Wonderland" / "I'll Be Home For Christmas" / "Silver Bells" / "Sleigh Ride" / "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" / "Let It Snow" / "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" / "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" / "Little Drummer Boy" / "Deck The Halls" / "Blue Christmas" / "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" / "The Christmas Song" (Mel Torme's greatest hit). Suggestion: hide the Perry Como-no disrespect intended-and all those scratchy vinyl platters! And from yours truly, take a step beyond the retro thang-this is the package baby!
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