Saturday, December 19, 2009


Django's 8 Days of Christmas, part three

My favorite Christmas CD of all time is A Lump of Coal, a compilation album released in 1991 which, sadly, is out of print (you can find it on eBay for 10-15 bucks).

The first tune on the record is "Little Drummer Boy" by Australia's famous Hoodoo Gurus. (When I was a long-hair member of various dive-playing bands in Murfreesboro, Tennesseee, I often found myself playin' and singin' the Hoodoo Gurus' finest.) Last "tune" on the record is Henry Rollins reading 'Twas the Night Before Christmas" ... the most Halloweenish rendering of a Christmas classic I've ever heard.

That said, the best tune on the record, by far, is Clockhammer's "Here Comes Santa Claus." A jazzy jazz-rock gem, Clockhammer's "Here Comes ..." not only features vocalist/guitarist Byron Bailey crooning in his inimitable smooth-as-silk style, but also offers up a clean, heavy-on-chorus-pedal intro that jingles like the finest Jingle Bell.

For the record, Clockhammer remains the best rock 'n' roll band to ever come out of Nashville (sorry Kings of Leon fans). Defunct since about 1994, Clockhammer was a jazz/rock/metal combo that was so good, it was inevitable that it would flame out before it could gain fame and fortune. The musicianship displayed on Clockhammer's masterpiece, 1992's Klinefelter, is just as awe-inspiring today was it was when it was released. (Guitar for the Practicing Musician magazine was certainly awed back in the day, calling Klinefelter a "true gem.") Check out Clockhammer on YouTube if'n you don't believe me.

Here's the entire A Lump of Coal track-list:

Little Drummer Boy" - Hoodoo Gurus
"The First Noel" - Crash Test Dummies
"Step Into Christmas" - The Wedding Present
"Blue X-mas (To Whom It May Concern)" - Drunken Boat
"O Holy Night" - Divine Weeks
"Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella" - Carnival Art
"Silent Night" - The Primitives
"O Little Town of Bethlehem" - Young Fresh Fellows
"Kings of Orient" - The Odds
"Here Comes Santa Claus" - Clockhammer
"'Twas the Night Before Christmas" - Henry Rollins

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