Doughty has carried on a solo career since and its the nature of what he does that even die hard fans run hot and cold with his music, but everyone seems to agree that Doughty's latest, "Yes And Also Yes" is Mike Doughty at his best. And Mike's Christmas single would seem to be fair evidence of that.
"Holiday (What Do You Want)" features Roseanne Cash sharing vocals with Mike. It's an easy breezy Alt Rock/Americana tune with some cool sleigh bells and thoughtful wistful lyrics. Like a lot of the best Christmas songs, this one has both sadness and joy interwoven inextricably. It might just be the best holiday single of the season. "Holiday (What Do You Want)" officially releases December 12, but there's no need to wait. You can download the track now, off "Yes And Also Yes" and laugh and weep to your heart's delight.
Rodeo Massacre is a Swedish-French band currently recording for the Smoky Carrot label. "Swirling Candy Cane" is a heavy psych blues trip for those of us who may be missing the days of Haight Ashbury and Ina-Gadda-Da-Vida, baby. And I was thrilled to find the Soundcloud stream because I want you to hear it.
The story, itself, is autobiographical. Or so says Izzy, the Swedish miss who fronts Rodeo Massacre. Izzy wrote "Swirling Candy Cane" on her honeymoon about her honeymoon. Get this one from Amazon or iTunes.
And there's more good news. You can get a free download of the acoustic version of "Swirling Candy Cane" from Smoky Carrot in exchange for your email address. But the acoustic version can't hold a candle to the regular version. Just sayin'.
Benny Bell died in 1999 (at the age of 93), leaving his manuscripts and song rights to his grandson Joel Samberg. Samberg wrote a biography of his grandfather as well as Licence To Kvell. Now Samberg is reviving his grandfather's legacy once more with "Holiday Shaving Cream"--featuring all new holiday lyrics. Samberg uses Benny's original track (including scratchy record noises) and even shares the chorus with his grandfather. Yes, it's another "duets with dead people" record, but, knowing it's all in the family, it doesn't bother me so much (I do wish he'd mixed Benny a bit louder or, better yet, let the old man have the chorus all to himself). The "Shaving Cream" gimmick was always funny (or at least I thought so), so it works about as well here, with Joel alternating Christmas and Hanukkah lyrics, as it did then. "Holiday Shaving Cream" will make its way to Amazon and iTunes, but right now its only available at CD Baby.
By the way, it's not as though Benny never made a holiday record. He made several, in fact, a few of which will be turning up on our Free page in the very near future. Something to look forward to.
"Overdrawn Over Christmas" was originally released in 2005 on a collection of new holiday songs that the writers and artists hoped would dent the national Christmas consciousness. But the time wasn't right for "Overdrawn Over Christmas". The songwriters tried again in 2008, releasing the song under their own names. But, in 2008, the economy had just crashed and nobody really saw the humor in being "Overdrawn Over Christmas".
The song is back for 2011 and, this time, the timing seems more appropriate. This version is credited to Tommy Joe Wilson. The 2011 version sounds an awful lot like the 2008 version, but the timing's the thing. So far, the Tommy Joe version isn't showing on Amazon or iTunes, but you can listen to it and buy it from it's own web site. Since the price is the same, you might as well buy that one if you plan to buy any of them. "Overdrawn Over Christmas" is a nice little up-tempo Honky Tonk Country Christmas novelty record and this could finally be its year.
Well, LEMON has recorded a new Christmas song for 2011. And, while "Home For Christmas" isn't as awesome as "What I Want For Christmas", it's still a gorgeous thing that deserves to be heard far more widely than it will be. Check it out at Amazon and CDBaby.
I love Soul music almost as much as I love Blues. The closer to the Blues, the more I love it. I like the old soul, the southern soul, the Tyrone Davis/Percy Sledge kind of soul. Powerful, emotional Gospel soul. The kind of soul where the performer reaches down and gives you everything he's got...and then reaches beyond himself to give you just a little more. And that's what I hear when I hear Simone De singing "Merry Merry Christmas". This is a wonderful performance of a wonderful song.
Simone De wanted to share this song with the world. His record company wanted him to sell it. So they compromised, agreeing that they would give away 300 free downloads of "Merry Merry Christmas"--first come, first served. They've given away over 2000 free downloads to date. Eventually, the song will reach iTunes and people will be able to buy it. But, for now, it's free for the price of "a kind request". Please, please, please, go to Simone De's Facebook page and find his email address in the posts related to this song and politely inquire about a free mp3. I could give you the email address, but I want you to go there. You can get a lot of good things in this world. Sometimes, you just have to ask. Nicely. Tell him Stubby sent you.
Simone De, by the way, sings all kinds of Soul. From sweet smooth Soul to rhythmic R&B to the kind of Deep Soul featured on "Merry Merry Christmas". Check out Simone's most recent album, "Soul Enchantment" on Amazon or CD Baby. You'll thank me later.