Uh-uh. If Stubby's House can't hound up some hardly mentioned holiday honey over the horizon that nobody else has told you about, then I might as well pack it in.
So what do I know that you might not? Keeping in mind that many plan a dose of December that never drops, and that, this far out, details are sparse, how about something for the Parrot Heads?
I don't know for sure that the Christmas album will arrive this year. Independent artists don't have big label money behind them and they have to play out a lot to pay the bills. And I don't know that it won't be all Americana and Rockabilly, instead of Blues. But I got my fingers and toes crossed and, just to be safe, its on the list I sent to Santa (you gotta write Santa early, kids; things get pretty busy at the North Pole later in the year). Keep an eye on her website and Facebook page for any announcements.
Among the videos on YouTube (all live), there is one of "Run Run Rudolph", but I liked the sound quality and camera work on this one a tad better. So enjoy. Lisa Wenger & Her Mean Mean Men are gonna rock your world.
In addition to the JGB, Seals is in three other bands, so the man has plenty on his plate. But he is planning a Christmas release--hopefully coming out this year. As explained by Seals, this record will not be a Grateful Dead infused effort. Seals got his start in the church and he wants to record a holiday record that features carols played straight-forward on the organ.
"[Y]ou know when Christmas time rolls around I hear all the beautiful instruments, saxophone, piano, acoustic guitar, I hear Christmas carols played by almost every instrument, but when it comes to the organ it’s one or two songs by Jimmy Smith and he’s jazzed them up. I want to do the Christmas carols in the anthem style they were written in but not jazz them up. Just put orchestration around the organ.... Just something I want to do."
Keep up with all of Melvin's bands and music at his website and via Facebook.
Ana Gasteyer is currently recording a Christmas album which she describes as "joyful and ridiculous". That sounds about right. Novelty sets look to be in abundance this Christmas, with William Shatner working with Ben Folds and Glee's Jane Lynch also doing up Christmas, but I suspect Ana's Christmas album may be the one with the music and spirit to lift it beyond mere curiosity, at least if "I'm Hip" is any indication.
Ana did a live performance of "I'm Hip" on Public Television last December, and included this nod to the season, "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas".
Among our new entries, Rascal Flatts Christmas album will include "O Holy Night". The Oak Ridge Boys are hard at work on their next Christmas album cause, you know, there's a shortage of Oak Ridge Boys Christmas music apparently (it's called sarcasm, kids). Amy Grant, 25 years after "Baby Baby", is another artist planning another Christmas record.
And mark this one down for 2017. Remember "MmmBop"? As a Bubblegum child, I still love that record. Hanson, the brothers three who wrote and sang that tune, may have been absent from the charts for quite some time, but their following is large and loyal and those kids are working constantly--either playing live or recording in the studio. There's the one studio Christmas album we all know, 1997's "Snowed In", but the Hansons have released the occasional Christmas single over the years, due to the huge demand of their followers, though those have generally only been available through their website. This fall, Hanson returns to the studio to cut an all new Christmas album, which will be released next year. Working title is "A Wintery Mix".
Here's the Hanson Christmas single from 2011, "My Favorite Christmas Sweater".
Cantabile--The London Quartet is working on their second Christmas album. "Cantabile Christmas", their first, came out in 2003, I believe. It's an interesting a cappella group that straddles the line between Classical and Pop. They can sound like something off an old Lawrence Welk Show or a track from an old a Spike Jones record. Like I said, they're interesting. And I like interesting. Songs that are expected for this album include "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve", "Let It Snow", "Christmas Cards", "I'll Be Home For Christmas" and "Nativite (Divine Poems No. 3)".
There's not much I can tell you about Cantabile--The London Quartet. They're one of those groups you have to hear to get. So here's my favorite track from their first holiday CD, "Lonely This Christmas". On this one, they go straight up street corner harmony and they sound great.