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The Alligator Records Christmas Collection

Various Artists

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

If you’re not already familiar with the great roster of artists on the Chicago-based independent blues label Alligator Records, this 1992 collection of their then-notables is a perfect place to start. Koko Taylor kicks off the festivities singing “Merry, Merry Christmas” with her smoky sultry voice wailing into the choruses under a grinding church organ and some amplifier tube-burning guitar leads. Kenny Neal’s throaty croon follows some honking harmonica blasts on the timeless “Christmas Time in the Country” and then Lil’ Ed & The Blue Imperials spike the punch with an upbeat foot-stomper and guitars that lean hard and heavy on the bottleneck-slide licks. Charles Brown puts his slick West Coast piano-boogie imprint (and sings smoother than eggnog) on the shoe-shuffling strut of “Boogie Woogie Santa Claus.” Lonnie Brooks cooks up a spicy rocker with “Christmas on the Bayou,” a swampy chooglin’ number that would make Creedence Clearwater Revival proud. If they handed out a prize for the best reworking of a classic carol, it would have to go to Elvin Bishop for his Hendrix-inspired instrumental version of “The Little Drummer Boy.”

Customer Reviews

Not your average holiday album

If you're tired of the same old holiday tunes, or want something to spice up your holiday party this album is worth a look. Koko Taylor's Merry, Merry Christmas always puts me in a good mood and Charles Brown's Boogie Woogie Santa Claus is just plain fun.

Charlie Musselwhite made me cry

I recall hearing this version of Silent Night years ago but could never found the album. Thanks iTunes. This song always brings a tear to my eye. How can you go wrong with Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin'?

Christmas can be funky!

This is not mom's boring xmas carols....great preformances .thur the whole album..Koko Taylor cut and Elvin bishop are really hot...give yourself a treat!

The Alligator Records Christmas Collection
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Customer Ratings