REVIEW: Bloodshot’s “13 Days of Christmas” Is What You Hope For in Holiday Music


Bloodshot has given us what we’ve all been waiting for this holiday season, and released Bloodshot’s 13 Days of Christmas (Bloodshot Records) this November 2017. A mixture of traditional interpretations and wry originals, this is exactly what any music lover needs to make it through the holidays, from the malls and the traffic and the gift-giving pressure to the snowed-in close quarters with extended family.

A sincere “O Holy Night” by Murder By Death opens the album and connotes the very best aspects of Burl Ives. This is followed by a rousing tongue-in-cheek original, “Papa Barrence’s Christmas”, brought to you by Barrence Whitfield and the Savages. Jon Langford and His Men of Gwent will make you smile and spill your whiskey on the floor with “Christmas Carol, Christmas Ray”, and Ruby Boots’ “I Slept Through Christmas” provides a droll suggestion of what’s alternatively possible on Christmas. Ha Ha Tonka gives us some rousing guitar runs and jingle bells just when we need some motivation with “The List” of reasons why he’s still in love with us.

James Elkington’s “Christmas Is Now Drawing Near At Hand” continues the foray into the sardonic, reminding us that: “even little children learn to cuss and swear.” The Dex Romweber Duo, siblings Dex and Sarah, then encourage us with an inspirational instrumental “Dark Christmas.” Kelly Hogan’s lilting interpretation of George Morgan’s “Blue Snowfall” is a return to alt-tradition and is just plain lovely. Devil in a Woodpile then gives us “The Pagans Had It Right,” calling us to “drink and eat and drink,” dancing us right back to the reality of holiday giddiness and irony: “days are getting grey, looks like its Christmastime again.” All Our Exes Live in Texas presents “How To Make Gravy” from jail, featuring stringed instruments and a southern accent, and they are right, “I bet it won’t taste the same.” Ron Gallo’s “White Christmas” revisits an earnest traditional song with the added bonus of being raw and listenable unlike the Christmas fare in your favorite shopping haunt. The collection ends with “Christmas in Oblivion” by the Yawpers, which carries us along hypnotically and reminds us that there’s always a chance for escape and respite.

The songs in this collection are sometimes straightforward and sometimes boldly irreverent, but the music is always original and true. Whatever cynicism appears, a real authenticity shines through, reminding us that we are indeed all in this together. It’s amazing a compilation like this hasn’t been released sooner, and this reviewer hopes it becomes an annual tradition. Cheers, Bloodshot!

Purchase your copy, immediately, here:

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