Ho damn ho!
Christmas tunes with Farmer Jason and Brown Bird.
Ho damn ho. I ain’t a Christmas person. No trees, no carolling, no ugly sweaters with reindeer, none of it. However, I make an exception for Christmas music. For two days a year, I give in to the spirit, drink “special” eggnog and spin a few choice selections from my collection. This year I’ve found two new examples that could even defrost my icy Christmas heart.
Christmas On The Farm With Farmer Jason
The over-the-top leader of Jason and the Scorchers Jason Ringenberg created “Farmer Jason” to perform for his own children, and it’s taken off- he won a Emmy for his PBS special It’s A Farmer Jason in 2009, and he performs regularly for children’s groups, with several albums and dvd’s geared to getting kids involved with nature and the environment. This Christmas season he has released Christmas On The Farm With Farmer Jason, and it’s a hoot. Farmer Jason might not be singing Hank Williams at 120 db ala the Scorchers, but Jason’s goofy charm and obvious connection with children makes this album a keeper. Kids will love his “Santa Drove A Big John Deere” and “Eat Your Fruitcake”, while “All I Want For Christmas (Is A Punk Rock Skunk)” will keep the parents smiling. Produced by Thomm Jutz and Peter Cooper, and featuring a duet with Webb Wilder on “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”, you won’t mind sharing this with your kids.
The Brown Bird Christmas Album
Every year for Christmas David Lamb and Morgan-Eve Swain- aka Brown Bird, would record a few Christmas songs at home and share with family and friends. Sadly, David Lamb died from leukemia in April of this year, and partner Swain decided to release the songs as a way of “keeping David’s spirit alive”, and they certainly do. Brown Bird was a low-key, gothic-tinged folk music group, and these 14 cuts deftly show how talented the group was. From originals such as “The Old Church Bell” and “Seraphim and Stone”, to inspired covers of “Silent Night”, Tom Wait’s “New Year’s Eve” and even Jethro Tull’s “Jack Frost and the Hooded Crow”, Brown Bird’s Christmas presents are as intimate and warm as their other albums. I’m sure Swain finds her version “Blue Christmas” a bittersweet choice now, but this is a record of celebration and giving, and ends with a rousing “Zat You Santa Claus?”. I’ll probably revisit this collection again, because songs as great as these shouldn’t be rationed to a few spins at Christmas!