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'BLUE XMAS' Review

!Hey Bo!


Peter Marsh of the BBC recently reviewed producer Carla Olson's Blue Xmas album - read the review here and check the BBC website for other reviews and information...

Blue Xmas BBC - Blues, Soul & Reggae Review -
Various Artists

Blue Xmas


For the music lover, Christmas can be a time of discomfort as the sleighbell driven onslaught of the likes of Wham, Cliff Richard and Greg Lake echo through Arndale Centres across the country and Noddy Holder's accountant wades through mounting piles of royalty cheques. However, Blue Xmas (put together by guitarist/producer Carla Olson) might go some way to warming the heart of the average blues fan (in the absence of a Robert Johnson Christmas record).

Renditions of Christmas Carols and other seasonal tunes in a blues fashion may be a faintly ridiculous idea and the musicians here do seem to be aware of that, as tongues are firmly in cheeks throughout. Blue XmasA pretty stellar lineup (guitarists Roy Rogers, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Walter Trout, Otis Rush, harpists Kim Wilson and Charlie Musselwhite plus Electric Flag pianist Barry Goldberg) motor through all the old chestnuts (roasting on an open fire, naturally) in good humoured fashion.

Highlights are a downhome back porch reading of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen", featuring Muddy Waters sideman Paul Oscher's slide and Guitar Shorty's heavily distorted rockisms; Alvin Youngblood Hart's folkish take on "Little Drummer Boy" and Kim Wilson's typically dirty harp on "Blue Christmas". Even "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" is transformed into a funk drenched vampathon courtesy of Phil Upchurch's solidly propulsive bass; if the Blues is the Devil's music, these guys must surely be Satan's little helpers. So if you wake up this Christmas morning, the dog's left home and your stocking's empty, this is the album for you.

Reviewer: Peter Marsh

All reviews:
New album: Have Harmony, Will Travel:
Top 100 C.B.   No Depression   Huffington Post   The Alternative Root   Flyinshoes   BealeStreet   TBD   TBD   TBD  

Gene Clark and Carla Olson: In Concert reviews: at Flagpole.com   at Folkwax   at Goldmine   at PopMatters  

other album reviews:
Blue Xmas   Ring of Truth   Hey Bo Diddley - A Tribute  
Detroit '85 and Too Hot For Snakes  

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