Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Various Artists - An Austin Rhythm and Blues Christmas (1986)

This showed up at my doorstep earlier this year, a gift from a generous benefactor, but I haven't pulled it off the shelf until today.  Let's listen:

  1. Boogie Woogie Santa Claus - Angela Strehli: And we're off to a good start! A fun old-fashioned R&B tune with Christmas lyrics and sleigh bells.  First recorded in 1948, this arrangement is smokin'.
  2. Merry Christmas Darling - The Fabulous Thunderbirds: Cover of a disillusioned blues tune by Hop Wilson. Jimmie Vaughan and Kim Wilson deliver on guitar and harp solos, respectfully. 
  3. Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree - Lou Ann Barton: this straight-ahead cover of this classic 1958 Christmas tune offers no surprises, but it's a treat to hear Barton sing it.
  4. My Christmas Is Hung With Tears - Sarah Brown:  a fantastic R&B original from Brown, who not only sings and writes but plays bass.  A quick search informs me she was the bass player in the house band at Antone's.  Why haven't I heard of heard of her before today?  Good stuff.
  5. Have Yourself A Merry Christmas - Paul Ray: nothing R&B about this one.  This big band arrangement swings and Ray does his best Sinatra imitation.  Not what I expected from the man who gave Stevie Ray Vaughan his start.
  6. The Christmas Song - The Kaz Jazz Quartet: a laid back, if not simplistic, instrumental take.  A nice change of pace.
  7. (Rockin') Winter Wonderland - The Fabulous Thunderbirds: Truth in advertising! A rock 'n roll instrumental version of this standard.  Again, nice work from Stevie and Kim.  One of the better tracks on the compilation.
  8. Please Come Home For Christmas - Lou Ann Barton:  Man-oh-man I like this tune.  Much like track 3, this cover of Charles Brown's 1960 blues song doesn't bring anything new to the table except for Barton's vocals.  And, really, when a tune is this good, all that's needed is a good singer.
  9. Santa Bring My Baby Back To Me - Charles Sexton: The Internet asserts this album was originally released in 1983 with this cover art:
    that means that Sexton was 15 years old when this was recorded.  Remarkable.  It's an old tune, but Sexton brings a rockabilly sensibility to the thing.  This album is turning out to be quite a treat.
  10. Sweet Little Baby Boy - Angela Strehli:  Oops, spoke too soon.  The only clunker on the disc, there's just not much to this plodder.
  11. Let's Make Everyday A Christmas Day - Paul Ray: originally recorded by Blubber Johnson in 1955. I hadn't heard it until now, but I think it deserves to be heard more. Ray's understated piano bar version here is a perfect way to end the compilation.
Upon receipt, I didn't give this one much of a chance.  I'll admit it: I was wrong.  This has been added to the yearly Christmas rotation.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: Did not chart.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None

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