It’s time for more Christmas craziness, so break out the eggnog, put up your feet, close that window that’s blowing open, and enjoy! Big range this time, with tracks from Yo La Tengo, Low and Jane Siberry joining the expected bits of old blues and funk.
The Last Month Of The Year – Vera Hall Ward (Where Will You Be Christmas Day?)
Getting Ready for Christmas Day – Paul Simon (So Beautiful or So What)
A Groovy Christmas and New Year (Kojo Donkoh) – Houghas Sorowonko (A Groovy Christmas and New Year (Kojo Donkoh))
It’s Christmas Time – Yo La Tengo (Merry Christmas From Yo La Tengo)
Christmas In Jail – Ain’t That A Pain – Leroy Carr (Where Will You Be Christmas Day?)
When It’s Christmas Time on the Range – Bob Wills (Lit Up Like A Christmas Tree II: The Eggnog Is Spiked)
To Heck With Ole Santa Claus – Loretta Lynn (Lit Up Like A Christmas Tree – A Vintage Holiday Mixtape)
The Christmas Blues – Bob Dylan (Christmas In the Heart)
Santa’s Got A Bag O’ Soul – Soul Saints Orchestra (Lit Up Like A Christmas Tree II: The Eggnog Is Spiked)
Merry Christmas Baby – Bootsy Collins (Christmas Is 4 Ever)
Xmas Done Got Funky – Jimmy Jules & Nuclear Soul System (Santa’s Funk & Soul Christmas Party Vol.1-3)
Christmas on Riverside Drive – August Darnell (A Christmas Record)
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Dread Zeppelin (Presents)
Go Where I Send Thee – Fred Waring & The Pennsylvanians (The Sounds of Christmas)
Somehow in the past fifteen years I’ve been blogging (!), I missed writing about “Blind Willie McTell.” Ever. This despite the fact that the song made the playlist of one of the first mixtapes I ever made back in 1991. And I don’t know that I ever connected the dots on the song’s meaning, in all that time, beyond the vague sense of prophetic dread conveyed by the slowly more intense vocal and piano performance.
And I am left feeling that amid revival tents, amid the attempts to dress up the past betrayed by cheap hooch, and despite the otherwise redemptive charge of the blues, we are left with this: an arrow in the doorpost, the ghosts of slavery ships, and the promise of our life in these United States undercut by power, greed, and the inevitable corruption and decay of our descendants.