If you're as badly addicted to Christmas music as I am--and, for your sake, I kinda hope you aren't--you've probably got some Christmas albums you've bought that you've never even listened to, for one reason or another. Seriously, I've got the bug that bad. So I was going through the stacks and stacks and stacks of unsorted CDs sitting around my place (about 80-85% of which I have listened to) and came across a 2013 local artist compilation from Knoxville that I had no memory of. It was a charity effort--the fourth and, apparently, last Christmas album put together by independent radio station WFIV -- "Homegrown For The Holidays".
Now y'all know that local artist compilation CDs are my favorite kind of Christmas album. For charity...all the better. But 2013 was also one of those years I was super occupied with family obligations. So I guess it slipped through the cracks. That turns out to be a pretty cool thing because, well, wouldn't you be excited to find a Christmas present you never opened in the middle of May? I mean, you're hardly going to give a thought to, "Dang, I wish I'd opened it then." No, you're going to be all like, "Cool! I get to open a Christmas present right now! In the middle of May!" Wouldn't you?
Like most local artist Christmas compilations, it had highlights and some that didn't quite rise to that level. Personal favorites, FWIW, included the opening Boogie Woogie piano take on "Run Run Rudolph" by the Kit Shickers and Billy Lawson's "Santa Claus Is Back In Town".
But, hands down, the "winner" for me was the original "The Mountain Wind Blows Cold" from Laura Ashton Jones (no relation to either Laura Ashton or Ashton Jones). It's a tune that should have appeal to fans of Bluegrass, Country and Americana, but also to fans of Indie, Alternative, and Singer/Songwriter sounds. It won me over instantly. And fortune smiled upon us because the track is available as a FREE download via Laura's ReverbNation page. She's still playing the Knoxville area, as far as I can tell, though ReverbNation appears to be her only music oriented web site and there aren't too many details there. In any case, it's the middle of May and "The Mountain Wind Blows Cold" is a pretty nice Christmas present to find at this time of year. Enjoy.