In case there is anyone not clicking through to the free page, I don't want you to miss the new song from Loose Tapestries. You'll thank me later.
Hey, y'all. I'm really still hibernating and I've done next to nothing since Christmas. But....I just wanted to let you know that The List for 2015 is up, now (not that there's much on it as yet).
A couple of things worth mentioning. We expect to get holiday sets this year (that were either promised for or hinted at last year) from India Arie as well as The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra. The set from the LCBO is expected in October from Concord Jazz. Country group Little Big Town (who were listed as "possible" all the way back in 2012) are apparently finishing up their Christmas set for release this fall. Haven't seen any recent updates on the long awaited Pat Benatar or Patty Smyth holiday records, but then again, I haven't really looked. And Avril Lavigne has made the rounds teasing a Christmas album...again. She sounds serious (yet still indefinite) this time around. We'll see.
Only just learned that some of the vinyl reissues promised last year have still yet to be released. Though the Kay Martin gem did eventually arrive (albeit not on green vinyl), the Original "Soul Christmas" collection and "Come On Christmas" by Dwight Yoakam are still pending with no official release date assigned. Meanwhile, the vinyl reissue of the Everly Brothers Christmas record may or may not have been cancelled altogether. I hate when that happens.
Of course, its still way too early to make your list of holiday music purchases for 2015, but at least you know that our List is back to keep you informed as the days til Christmas melt from months into a precious few.
Just because Christmas has passed doesn't mean we're not still uncovering great holiday music. The Free List is still growing by about a track a day (wish it were more, but...time is not on my side) and, every now and then, we even add something to our Previews section.
Got an awesome new track up, today, on the Free List from the Russian Folk Punk band, the Garlic Kings. Russian. Folk Punk. Need I say more?
No Boxing Day feature, today, on our Free List. Ironically, I started doing that because I didn't have time to listen to all the free stuff that comes out every year and, this year, I don't have time to do that. Sorry. But we will continue to post the free stuff we find that we find worthy, certainly through New Years. There are some new ones up just now, including our write-up of the gift we received a few days ago from Lie In The Sound. So go. Off with you. Go discover something new and free.
It's just after Midnight here in the eastern USA. No snow here in Carolina, but it is officially Christmas. So I thought I'd share one of my all-time favorite versions of one of my all-time favorite Christmas songs. For a while, I even thought about tossing it into A Stubby's House Christmas. This was from the Christmas episode of the brilliant, but short-lived TV show "Studio 60". I watch that Christmas episode every year...just to hear this song as much as anything. NBC made the song available as a free download that year, God bless em, and its still widely available on-line. This is Trombone Shorty Andrews, accompanied by other New Orleans musicians following Katrina. "O Holy Night". Merry Christmas, y'all.
Like the track from Lucy Rose earlier, there's no place to purchase or download this one (yet). So it's gotta be real good for me to put it here. And this one's real good. Bell X1 recorded this one in the dressing room of The Spirit Store in Dundalk (or so they say). Vocals on "Little Drummer Boy" are provided by Dominic Phillips.
Well, these last few days before Christmas, most of the action, here, is definitely on the Free List (though I did actually add a new listing on the Previews page). But I did want to share this wonderful song from Lucy Rose. You can't download it, but its worth the listen for sure. You may recall that Lucy, who is definitely one to follow, last year performed "Driving Home For Christmas" (briefly a free download) on BBC Radio One. This year, she performed "Merry Christmas", the old Shakin' Stevens number. And, man, she finds depth and beautiful shades and colors in that song that I never knew were there. So have a listen and enjoy your day. Peace and Merry Christmas, y'all. And keep watching Lucy's Facebook page. She's giving stuff away.
I mentioned the other day that one of my very favorite blogs at Christmas time is Lie In The Sound. It's a German blog. I don't speak a word of it. But music is a universal language and Lie In The Sound features some of the best free Christmas downloads year after year. Some they even find here and, in a normal year, I find just as many there, if not more. I haven't had much chance to peruse their offerings this year. But you would all be wise to do so.
Your humble hostess at Lie In The Sound is Brigitte, and she has excellent taste in music. She's also real good people and she's been very kind and encouraging to me over the few years I've been doing this. As it happens, Lie In The Sound posted a whole sleigh load of new free Christmas tunes yesterday. So now's a great time for y'all to catch up over there since I can't promise I'll get around to many of them myself. Here's some of what Lie In The Sound has posted this year.
Kalla Hus - Damien Jurado and Kyle Zantos
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Claus - The Timburtons (yeah, I figured that would get your attention; and it's awesome)
Wonderful Christmastime - Ex Cops
Christmas Wrapping - The Lost Calvary
Angels We Have Heard On High - Ormonde
Christmas In California - Ash Reiter
Ho Ho Ho Canada 4 - Various
Aleksander/The Storm - Sunturns
Christmas Of Love - Paper City
Breaking The Ice - Samatha Crain
Blithe Spirit - Golden Fable
A Very Cornshed Christmas - The Cornshed Sisters
Jolly Old St. Nicholas - Pitch Feather
A Harvest Star Christmas - Harvest Star Christmas Collective
Paste Holiday Sampler - Various
Dine Alone Holiday Sampler - Various
Scarves And Sweaters - Carter Moulton
And it goes on and on and on and on. It's truly amazing to me. Now I have purposefully not linked up the individual tracks and albums because I think you should go over to Lie In The Sound and discover this Christmas gold for yourselves. Enjoy and tell Brigitte that Stubby sent ya.
Well, the Free List is back. A few holes still to fill in, but back it is. It's a new page, technically, so your old RSS Feed won't do you any good. And I couldn't recreate the likes, tweets and comments. Also, any artists out there--you might want to update your links.
No video tonight. Well, not one we can embed anyway. But a couple of Hanukkah treats. First, tucked away in the newly released "Holiday Vacation" album from People On Vacation (Jaret Reddick of Bowling For Soup and Ryan Hamilton of Smile Smile) is a fun little ode to the Festival Of Lights, "Don't Forget About Hanukkah". The whole album is a solid Alt Pop blast, but its nice they included a track for the Chosen People. Great pop hook and a lot of fun "observations", like..."I am 99% sure a reindeer is Jewish." The album is available (in digital format only, it seems) from Amazon and iTunes.
So there's that.
And, from Sketchy and The Kids At Play comes a Hanukkah parody of Maroon 5's "One More Night". For this one, they call themselves Macaroon Five and their song is "All Eight Nights". So far, this is only a video (no mp3 or hard copy release) and, so far, you can only watch it on Y-Screen, a Yahoo video service (no embed available). But, who knows, it could catch on. It's a good time in any case and well worth clicking over for a few minutes. We'll still be here when you get back.
Oy! If you missed it, we had a little technical glitch last night that obliterated the 2012 Free List entirely. It was very nearly the end of Stubby's. I really don't need the extra tsuris. I didn't know whether to cry or quit. People think, just cause I do a web site, I know all about computers. Trust me, I haven't got a clue. But I can be a stubborn old bird. So I'm going about the painstaking business of rebuilding--one post at a time. The Free List will return very shortly and I'll fill in the gaps later (a lot of the earlier ones--and the Soundcloud ones--aren't free anymore anyway...they reached their hard download cap. Still...).
Anyway, for the Fifth Night of Hanukkah, we'll just toss this one your way. The What's Up Band plays Jewish American Rock N Roll, mostly in the Tri-State area (NY, NJ, CT). Their Hanukkah song, "Pass It On", doesn't seem to be available for purchase at the moment, but its still a pretty cool tune--musically modern but with a traditional message. Visit the What's Up Band at their web site and Facebook and check out their 2012 album release, "Only Hits So Far", at CD Baby.
I love Christmas, music, and cats. What more do you need to know?