2. You Won't Have To Wait Till Xmas - LEE ROGERS
3. Santa's Got A Brand New Bag - GARY WALKER
4. Merry Christmas Baby - VERNON GARRETT
5. Christmas Groove - VERNON GARRETT
6. Soul Christmas (vocal) - COUNT SIDNEY
7. Soul Christmas (inst.) - COUNT SIDNEY
8. Black Christmas - ROSE GRAHAM
9. Stone Soul Christmas - BINKY GRIPTITE
10. Holiday Baby - FAT DADDY
11. Christmas Present Blues - JIMMY REED
12. Xmas Done Got Funky - JIMMY JULES
AMAZON DE (Germany)
LIGHT IN THE ATTIC (just in case)
AMAZON MP3 (US)
Unlike a lot of hack labels across the Atlantic, all of Tramp's reissue material is legally licensed and their compilations are released with great attention to quality, complete with informative liner notes and label scans. Not just living in the past, Tramp has a stunning stable of current groups and artists who also got the funk.
Tramp is stepping to the Christmas plate this year with a full buffet of solid, scrumptious soul and fabulous funk--much of which has criminally yet to see the digital light of day. On "Santa's Funk & Soul Christmas Party", you'll find such previously obscure holiday soul sides as Vernon Garrett's rare seasonal single with Sir Stan & The Counts (both sides), Count Sidney's somewhat less rare (but never been on CD) "Soul Christmas" 45 (vocal and instrumental versions), Rose Graham's elusive "Black Christmas", and a track from Jimmy Jules' ultra rare Christmas LP (and not the track released a couple of years back on "In The Christmas Groove"). Of more recent vintage is Binky Griptite's brilliant 2006 Dap-Tone vinyl single, "Stone Soul Christmas". Even the tracks here that have previously appeared on CD are uncommon and uncommonly good--tracks like "Santa's Got A Brand New Bag" by Gary Walker and Detroit Junior's raucous Blues rave "Christmas Day".
Gracing any CD, such a line-up would be amazing, but the fact that Tramp is also issuing this collection on vinyl propels this release into the stratosphere. The vinyl LP features a gatefold cover (just like the old days), scans of and liner notes on all the singles included, and it's limited to only 500 copies.
Perhaps the best news of all is that Tramp began this project with a list of more than 50 rare grooves from the 60s and 70s that have fallen through the cracks and languished in obscurity. Major labels have refused to part with the rights for a few of those rare gems, but that suggests there are still enough treasures to fill up a second volume and then some.
Why oh why does it have to be a German label? That's likely to make "Santa's Funk & Soul Christmas Party" nearly impossible to come by in this country and/or prohibitively expensive. Gotta have it, gotta have it, gotta have it; but you don't understand, I neeeeeeeeeed it. I'm hoping that perhaps Light In The Attic will take on North American distribution for the album as this is right up their alley. If not, at least the music itself will be available through Amazon mp3. The digital version arrives on November 21. The hard copies will be released in Germany on November 28.