For Christmas music hounds, there are three prominent Record Store Day exclusives of note. First, there is the picture disc 12" issue of King Diamond's now classic "No Presents For Christmas". That one's limited to 2000 copies. It's a reissue, though, of the 1985 picture disc release and I'm not a big fan of reissuing collectors items. Just sayin'. Then there's the "This Christmas" 7", in red and green vinyl, featuring the Donny Hathaway original on one side and the new Cee Lo Green cover on the other. There are 3000 copies of that one. A little gimmicky, sure, but kinda cool all the same.
Then there's the latest object of my desire--an album of classic Blues from the 20s through the 50s. "Death Might Be Your Santa Claus" will be available in both 12" vinyl (3000 copies) and on CD (5000 copies). There's no track list available, but there's likely nothing here you haven't heard before. Lightning Hopkins, Bessie Smith, that sort of thing. But, hey....Blues. Know what I'm sayin'?
If you'd like to find a participating store, there's a Record Store finder available (yeah, there's an app for that). I, for example, have been living here for a number of years and had no idea there was a record store anywhere in the state, let alone within two miles. Live and learn.
A more complete listing of Record Store Day Exclusives can be found here or here. Or here (warning, PDF file). Strangely, some of the "Record Store Day Exclusives" are available as regular retail products in Canada, so you might find a track list for a hits or rarities collection by poking around Canadian vendor web sites.
Scott Woods is the keeper of the flame for old time fiddle music in Canada, having started playing in his father's old time fiddle revue with his brother and sisters when he was only around 8 years old. The family's old time fiddling tradition extends back six generations. An amazing performer, Scott has been known to step dance and turn somersaults while fiddling. He's won numerous fiddling titles and sprinkles his shows with Celtic, Jazz and other styles, plus a generous measure of humor. And, in an era where many artists make the bulk of their money performing live, Scott Woods' live shows are exclusively fundraising events, scoring hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for churches, charities, and community organizations.
Scott Woods' new Christmas album is "Christmas Memories". Because it's only available from Scott's web site, I'm not sure where to put it on The List, so we'll just call it October 10, simply because there aren't a lot of releases with that date. In addition to some mighty fine fiddlin', "Christmas Memories" features vocals from Scott and the rest of the band and several Christmas themed stories, including "A Visit From Saint Nicholas" performed by Carolyn Woods, Scott's mother, who met and married Scott's father when she was a part of his band.
1. Christmas Time's A-Coming / Acrobat's Reel
2. Let it Snow
3. Mary's Boy Child
4. Christmas Shoes (music - The First Noel)
5. Little Old Home in West Virginia
6. When a Child is Born
7. Do You Hear What I Hear?
8. Christmas Guest (music - I'll Be Home for Christmas)
9. Will Santy Come to Shanty Town?
10. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear / Hark the Herald Angels Sing / O Little Town of Bethlehem / Angels We Have Heard on High
11. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen / Old Doc Woods / Howard Jackson's Breakdown
12. Mr. Santa (Mr. Sandman)
13. A Visit from Saint Nicholas (‘Twas the Night Before Christmas)
14. Christmas Waltz
15. Snowflake, My Pretty Little Snowflake
16. In Search of Christmas Day (music - What Child is This?)
17. Where are you Christmas?
18. (Ain't) Nobody's Business
19. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
"Christmas With The Blues" arrives November 13, featuring 1 legitimate standard ("Little Drummer Boy"), 6 "Blues standards", and 2 originals. No listing at Amazon US as yet, but you'll find "Christmas With The Blues" at Amazon Canada and at David's label, Cordova Bay.
1. Christmas Blues
2. Christmas On The Bayou
3. Christmas Tears
4. Let's Get A Real Tree
5. Please Come Home For Christmas
6. Santa Claus Is Back In Town
7. Merry Christmas Baby
8. Little Drummer Boy
9. Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin'
"Keening For The Dawn" was a project whose seeds were planted in 2010. Playing at the CS Lewis Institute in England, Steve met poet Malcolm Guite, and the two became fast friends. Over a pint in a pub, the word "keening" was used, and Steve later learned the word referred to an ancient Celtic tradition of "hopeful lament", an "inconsolable longing" if you will. Early in 2012, Guite began sending poems to Bell--poems which soon became songs. The end result is a truly beautiful collection that stands well as a whole, but also as a collection of wonderful and spiritual songs of Christmastide. The CD will soon be available for pre-order through Steve's web site, and Amazon has a listing for the digital version, which arrives November 13.
2. Keening For The Dawn (click to hear)
3. Fashion For Me
4. Peace Be Unto You
5. O Come O Come Emmanuel
6. While Shepherds Watched
7. In The Bleak Midwinter
11. Epiphany On The Jordan
Well, dude, we're gettin' a Kwanzaa tune this year, courtesy of Atlanta's Rhonda Thomas. Rhonda's got soul, to be sure, but I was impressed by the jazz influence in her vocals. And she can get with the Blues and Funk whenever the mood strikes. We don't have the release date or track list for "Little Drummer Girl", but we do have this nifty little video of Rhonda teasing the album. Keep an eye on Rhonda's site for future details.
1. Joy To The World (SAMPLE)
2. The Little Drummer Boy (SAMPLE)
3. O Holy Night
4. Frankincense (SAMPLE)
5. Hark The Herald Angels Sing
6. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)
7. Carol Of The Bells
8. Home For The Holidays
9. Shred Ride - Sled Ride/Winter Wonderland
10. Silent Night/We All Need Some Light
1. Angels We Have Heard On High
2. We Three Kings
3. Silent Night
4. The First Noel4
5. Carol of the Bells
6. O Come, All Ye Faithful
7. Deck the Halls
8. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
9. Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
10. Joy to the World
11. O Holy Night
12. Auld Lang Syne
1. Merry Christmas Baby (feat. Brad Paisley)
2. Santa Baby
3. Christmas In The Sand
4. Baby It’s Cold Outside (feat. Gavin DeGraw)
5. Jingle Bells
6. The Christmas Song (feat. Justin Young)
7. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
8. I’ll Be Home For Christmas
9. Every Day is Christmas (feat. Jason Reeves)
10. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
11. Silver Bells
12. Winter Wonderland
14. Happy Christmas
15. Auld Lang Syne
1. I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
2. It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
3. Oh Tannenbaum
4. Baby It's Cold Outside
5. The Christmas Song
6. Sleigh Ride
7. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
8. No Place
9. I'll Be Home for Christmas
10. White Christmas
11. Silent Night
1. Let It Snow
2. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
3. Little Drummer Boy
4. Ring Ring (A Lovely Sound)
5. Silent Night
6. Winter Wonderland
7. Driving Home For Christmas
8. Father To A Child
9. Rocking Around The Christmas Tree
10. Dry Your Tears
11. O Holy Night
12. Wonderful Dream (Holidays Are Coming)
13. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
2. Christmas with the Family - Montgomery Gentry
3. Do You Hear What I Hear? - Josh Gracin
4. Santa in a 4-Wheel Drive - The Lacs
5. Christmas Time - John Anderson
6. What Time Is It? - LoCash Cowboys
7. Muddy Christmas - Lenny Cooper
8. Very Merry Christmas - Bo Bice
9. Nappy Holidays - Nappy Roots
10. Our Christmas - Matt Stillwell
11. Christmas Ain't Christmas - JB and the Moonshine Band
12. Texas Christmas - Lauren Briant
13. Beer with Santa - The Mauldin Brothers
Some notes, courtesy of Tim Neely via Imwan:
No. 2 "Christmas with the Family" is actually the Robert Earl Keen classic "Merry Christmas from the Family," which Montgomery Gentry recorded in 2000 when they were still with Columbia. I don't know if this is the same recording as that one.
No. 5 "Christmas Time" was first recorded by John Anderson in 1994; again, I don't know if this is the same or a new recording.
No. 8 was first available as a free digital download in 2008.
No. 9 was first available as a digital download in 2010.
No. 11 is not a remake of the O'Jays' classic "Christmas Ain't Christmas, New Years Ain't New Years, Without the One You Love."
New Age artist David Lanz will have a Christmas album out this November, entitled "Joy Noel".
Former NFL QB Terry Bradshaw is working on a Christmas album, as we reported several weeks ago but, like Pat Benatar and Martina McBride, the album won't be ready for release this Christmas. Look for it in 2013. For this year, you'll have to settle for a Terry Bradshaw Christmas single, "The Lights Of Louisiana".
If you've been paying attention to our list (and scrolling all the way to the bottom), you may have noticed that Shania Twain wants to record a Christmas album. Shania has actually wanted to do a Christmas album for many, many years and she supposedly even started one earlier in the oughts (2004, I think it was?). But she hated the sound of the tracks she'd recorded and, allegedly, had them erased. There is, for whatever it's worth, an old bootleg floating around purporting to be Shania Twain singing "White Christmas".
Well, it's late, I'm tired, and I think that's enough for you to chew on for awhile.
Stubby's House Bonus! Just for sticking with this long post all the way through, here's a Shania Twain Christmas greeting for you.