Thursday, December 24, 2009

Santa’s Grab Bag - Part Two

Santa graphic taken from the cover of New Wave Xmas CD

Christmas Eve is a perfect time to take a peek into Santa’s sack and see what musical goodies are stored in there. Here are a few more songs of the season submitted for your approval.

“Winter Wonderland” - Hello Dave The 1994 CD A Hello Dave Christmas With Friends aimed to raise funds to help children afflicted with or affected by HIV/AIDS. Imagine your car breaking down on a deserted country road while you’re driving to some party on Christmas Eve. You walk to the nearest open venue, which happens to be a rustic bar. Hello Dave is onstage and has the local townsfolk up and dancing to its Country & Western versions of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “Silent Night,” and other classics. “Winter Wonderland” rocks to the loping bass lines played by Willis Potocki and some spirited harmonies from vocalist-guitarist Mike Himebaugh and vocalist Paul Bolger. You call for a tow truck, but while you wait for its arrival, you’re having a great time.

“We Wish You A Merry Christmas” - The Daugherty McPartland Group Several years back, a friend and I dropped by the apartment of a couple we knew for a holiday visit a few days before Christmas. It was a Sunday night, and they had the WXRT show Jazz Transfusion playing on the radio. Maybe I was just in a festive mood, but those spirited jazz versions of holiday songs really made an impression on me. Acoustic Christmas, released by The Daugherty McPartland Group in 1996, has that same easy going vibe. Tim Daugherty’s fluid piano playing takes center stage throughout the CD, but Dennis McPartland on percussion, Bob Thompson on saxes and flutes, and Jim Munro on bass are also impressive. People who enjoyed Vince Guaraldi’s score for A Charlie Brown Christmas will find a lot to like here, and in fact, “Christmas Time Is Here” is included on Acoustic Christmas. “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” is both classy and fun, and like all of this CD, it's the perfect soundtrack for a friendly holiday get-together.

“Double-0-Santa” - Seks Bomba The 2002 holiday compilation 50,000,000 Elves Fans Can’t Be Wrong lives up to its title with a variety of fun tracks, and “Double-0-Santa” by the Boston based band Seks Bomba is one the best. This lounge tune mixes the concepts of a Secret Santa and a secret agent, with humorous results. “Mistakes are bad for business, says the man called Father Christmas, AKA Double-0-Santa,” vocalist-guitarist Chris Cote reveals over a slinky guitar and keyboards arrangement. Santa isn’t too cool accept snacks, but it should be understood that he likes his “egg nog stirred, never shaken.”

"Thanks For Christmas" - XTC Few bands can match the Brit trio XTC when it comes to crafting songs with clever lyrics and indelible melodies. “Thanks For Christmas” stands out New Wave Xmas, a Rhino various artists compilation that also includes “2000 Miles” by The Pretenders and “Christmas Day” by Squeeze. Introduced with some triumphant horn playing, the catchy “Thanks For Christmas” finds XTC using gorgeous harmonies while creating scenes like Santa’s reindeer resting after a hard-working Christmas Eve, and ecstatic kids decorating trees. “It’s such a shame it’s only once a year,” the song notes. “Three hundred and sixty-four days full of doubt and fear/You’ve been saving your love up/Let it out/‘Cause Christmas is here.”

A Very Merry Christmas to everyone. May you receive all that you are hoping for this holiday, and give plenty in return.


Jim Munro said...

Hi Terry,

Thanks for the album recognition for the Daughter/McPartland group.

That was a fun album to make and it seems like a popular one every year.

It's always a treat to get to play those Vince Guaraldi classics. That's where I learned about jazz music from watching those Charlie Brown specials.

I hope you enjoy those tunes again this year.

Have a Merry Christmas!

Pseudonymous G said...

hi Terry,

Thanks from me as well for becoming aware of my obscure & (as yet) only Xmas tune, "Double-0 Santa" by Seks Bomba. It wasn't exactly a hit & the band is long gone, but nice to see someone somewhere get a kick out of it.

Enjoyed the blog as well, many of my 60's faves present & accounted for.

Best wishes,

George Hall

Related Posts with Thumbnails