Silent Night 2:08 Bing Crosby – Recorded at the end of World War II. Just a beautiful rendition.
Christmas Must Be Tonight 3:37 The Band -Not sure why, but I have been listening to the Band a lot lately. Although they appear to have been largely forgotten, The Band have a timeless quality about them. Their music does not sound dated at all, unlike many of their contemporaries. This has been my favorite Christmas song of late. I think that is Rick Danko singing lead.
The Little Drummer Boy 3:09 Joan Baez – Her angelic voice is perfect for Christmas songs, and her phrasing on this is exquisite.
New York Is A Christmas Kind of Town 3:01 Marah – This should be a modern Christmas classic. Marah should be huge superstars. And I should be dating former supermodels who have ditched their ex-hockey player husbands and need someone to squire them along the Amalfi Coast. Some shit that should be, is not, yet the world still spins on it’s axis.
Please Come Home For Christmas 3:23 Willie Nelson – When Willie dies, this country will go into shock. He is a national treasure. He makes this seem so effortless.
My Christmas Prayer 3:25 Saint Etienne – I know this band is a hipster fave, but I do not know of them beyond this song. There are too many bands for me to check out, so unless someone points me to the high point of their oeuvre, or better yet, puts together a greatest hits playlist for me to download, this will be all I know of them.
Nothing But A Child 4:23 Steve Earle – A quiet song from Copperhead Road. A retelling of the Biblical story of the Birth of Jesus, it is similar to Christmas Must Be Tonight by the Band.
1967 6:12 The Beatles – The Beatles sent Christmas records each year to members of their fan club. These Christmas records were always loose and unrehearsed and fun. 1967 was the year the Beatles discovered acid. Madcap hijinks ensued.
Away in a Manger 1:11 Josh T. Pearson – Pearson is from Denton, Texas, and was in Lift To Experience, who were an incredibly cool band. This is from an EP of Christmas songs he did. This is a spare and quite beautiful rendition of the song.
Run Rudolph Run 3:15 Keith Richards – Keith covers Chuck Berry. I am not sure who else is playing on this, but it is a crackerjack band.
Fairytale of New York 4:44 Jesse Malin & Bree Sharp – You all have, or should have, the Pogues version, so check out the Jesse Malin & Bree Sharp cover. Not as good as Shane and Kirsty, but what is?
Go, Tell It On the Mountain 4:25 Seryn ft. Mark Apel – Another band from Denton, Texas, which seems to have a fertile underground that I need to start exploring.
Peanut Brittle Brigade (March) 4:41 Duke Ellington – Swinging arrangement of a number from the Nutcracker Suite.
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (Album Version) 4:20 Texas Tornados – The Great Doug Sahm and friends (including Freddie Fender, Flaco Jimenez, and Augie Meyers) tackle the old classic
Christmas, Don’t Be Late 2:51 The Shalitas – The Shalitas floated around the Marah camp for a bit. They never broke free of that orbit, and their records were not as good as their live show, but this a fun song for the holidays.
As always, if you like these songs, please go and support the artists by buying their records and seeing their live shows (if they are still around to play live).
DOWNLOAD the Playlist here.