St. Paul Minnesota’s Red House Records works up their first ever Christmas album with Christmas Songs on the Lam and Other Songs for the Season. Featuring a dozen cuts from their artists, it’s a fun and interesting new holiday album that music fans of several genres including the blues will enjoy.
Davina and the Vagabonds give a jumping rendition of “Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me)” with nice vocals, piano and trumpet work, Bill Kirchen and Austin de Lone give us a country bluesy “Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin'” to enjoy. Nice and greasy stuff here. Heather Masse does an original entitled “Mittens” that is a nice country ballad. Prairie Home Companion fans might remember Heather. John Gorka also does an original; “Holed Up in Mson City” is another country tune about getting stuck and unable to go home due to the wintry weather. Gordon Lightfoot’s “Song for A Winter’s Night” by the Pines mixes acoustic and electric guitar in a Dylan-esque and rootsy performance. Hauntingly beautiful. Suzzy Roche does “Cold Hard Wind,” another traditional, old school bluegrass song where Roche is on vocals and guitar and Loudon Wainwright backs her on vocals and banjo along with a nice ensemble of artists.
Dale Watson & The Lonestars do the original “Christmas to Me,” a rockabilly country Christmas song featuring Waton’s big baritone voice and Telecaster sound along with some sweet pedal steel. Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams do “Blue Christmas.” Williams vocals are sweet and paced slowly to give a very blue feeling. Campbell harmonizes and plays acoustic guitar, bass, mandolin, and pedal steel. It’s a nice country rendition. “Together All Alone” is next, an original robin & Linda Williams tune from their own Christmas album. The haunting mouth harp is well done and the song helps sell this very good little cut. Charlie Parr does a hill country blues Christmas original where he and his trio pick out the funny but well done “Slim Tall’s Christmas on the Lam.” Jorma Kaukonen does a solo piece entitled “The Baby Boy” where he plays acoustic guitar and offers up vocals depicting the Christmas story. The Wailin’ Jennys do their song “Glory Bound” where banjo. fiddle, guitar, bass, drums and percussion blend with the vocalists on this sweet country cut.
Rootsy and well done Christmas songs and a few songs of the Winter season grace this album. I’m always on the lookout for a new and interesting Christmas album and this is a very fine one! I enjoyed it and think country, roots music and blues fans will find something here to enjoy!