New West Records
Rockin’ and Rollin’ the Billy-Oh Out of Christmas.
I’ve been send six Christmas albums this year, and have only decided to put pen to paper on two; this and the Rodney Crowell release which coincidentally are on the same label but like chalk and cheese when it comes to the singer’s approach to the Holiday Season.
As I sit here on a grey, wet and miserable December Monday which has followed a similar weekend JD McPherson has got me smiling and tapping my toes to his red hot and equally cool LP of Rocking and Rolling songs.
You know exactly where you’re going with the traditional intro and ongoing melody that accompanies All The Gifts I Need which opens the album; and had me doing a Peppermint Twist as I made coffee with this in the background yesterday…….and to some greater or lesser extent; who doesn’t like a honking saxophone on a Christmas song?
Maybe I don’t listen to enough rootsy Rock & Roll, but there’s something very refreshing about hearing songs like Hey Skinny Santa, What’s That Sound and especially Claus V Claus, which all have that authentic 50’s feel to them but are just what I need to hear as 2018 blends into 2019.
If you already know JD’s cannon of work you will know he has a mean sense of humour which comes across fabulously well on the title track Socks and the lovely ballad Ugly Sweater Blues, which both find the McPherson tongue pressed firmly into his cheek….. but hey, man….it’s Christmmmaaasssssss!!!
It’s fair to say that McPherson takes enjoying Christmas very seriously, with Holly, Carol, Candy & Joy being an intricately constructed song about all of the girls in his life at this time of year and on Hey Skinny Santa you could easily daydream Eddie Cochran or Bruce Springsteen blasting this out at the top of their voices.
While this is a ‘brand new album,’ the absolutely fabulous Twinkle (Little Christmas Lights) was first released in 2012 and hasn’t aged a single day in all that time.
If that single hadn’t already been on the official RMHQ playlist it would have definitely been our Favourite Track here; but being the contrary fool I am; that title is now going to be a tie between the frantic Santa’s Got a Mean Machine and the slightly menacing Bad Kid, which is as cool a slice of Rock and indeed Roll as was ever released at Christmas time. Does the Bad Kid get redeemed by the end? That’s not for me to say is it?
Oh boy; this is a keeper…….a Christmas album that you can pass down to the Grandkids because it genuinely is timeless and will never age.
Released December 14th 2018