Country Music People December 2018 - Page 30

albumreviews RODNEY CROWELL Christmas Everywhere  Clement’s Lament (We’ll See You in the Mall) / Christmas Everywhere (with Lera Lynn) / When the Fat Guy Tries the Chimney On For Size / Christmas Makes Me Sad / Merry Christmas From An Empty Bed (with Brennen Leigh) / Very Merry Christmas / Christmas In Vidor (with Mary Karr) / Christmas For The Blues / Come Christmas / Let’s Skip Christmas This Year / 30 cmp - DECEMBER 2018 Christmas in New York / All For Little Girls And Boys (with Daddy Cool and the Yule) Producer: Don Knobler New West Records 39:23 In 1957 my father, with great reluctance, gave me what I wanted for Christmas which was Elvis’ Christmas Album. He thought that I would soon forget about the record and indeed Elvis himself (not a chance, Dad) and so he also gave me something that he was sure would last which was a world atlas. Of course, the world atlas is now hopelessly out of date and Elvis’ Christmas Album is still perfect. It is the album by which I judge other Christmas fare and I still think Santa Claus Is Back in Town is among the greatest rock and roll tracks ever. It’s cool, funny and really sexy; I’m not sure if I picked up on “Santa Claus is comin’ down your chimney tonight” when I was 12 but I sure do now. How Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller must have laughed when they wrote that line. I’ve heard plenty of decent Christmas albums over the years – the Beach Boys, James Brown, the Carpenters, Willie Nelson, Kate Rusby – and some great individual tracks such as James Taylor’s ultra-cool Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. I even have a lesbian Christmas album by Venus Envy called I’ll Be A Homo For Christmas. I have a Rockabilly Christmas compilation from Bear Family and a Merry Merry Doo Wop Christmas from DCC. I love them one and all and I have been known to play them in the middle of the summer. I hadn’t thought about it before but I suppose I am the perfect reviewer for Christmas product even though I sometimes behave like the Grinch who stole Christmas. When I heard Rodney Crowell was doing a Christmas album, I thought this could be unique as so many of his songs seem like a substitute for going to the psychiatrist. To quote of one of his greatest songs, I’m A Mess. But not so: although there are certainly some characteristic Crowell moments, this is mostly a happy, joyful occasion full of good tunes and witty lyrics and what’s more, and this is a huge plus, it is an