“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!” – Buddy the Elf
Every year I look forward to the day after Thanksgiving for one reason and one reason only: hitting play on my Christmas playlist. It’s amazing how something I love so much can make me so unhappy until that day, and once it comes, it’s just about all I listen to for the next month. The classics, the Santa anthems, the new originals that each year brings, the glorious hymns, all of ’em. From Run-DMC to Céline Dion, Wham! to George Strait, Jimmy Buffett to my newest holiday guilty pleasure, Justin Bieber, my list is ever growing and ever joyful.
Music Mondays are aimed to share solely southern artists in an effort to keep this blog authentic to its name. I’d be lying, however, if I said that all of my favorite music was southern based. It’s pretty easy for me to stick to my own “rules” when I’m blogging one song a week, but when I sat down to start picking out some Christmas favorites (both new and old), the list of non-southern artists grew. I figured hey, it’s Christmas, let’s spread the love! Even though not every song in this “series” will be by a southern artist, I will specify who is, as well as point you in the direction of snagging some free music when available.
With all that being said, it’s time to get merry.
The Weepies “All That I Want” from their Happiness album or The Winter’s Night mix. If this is the first you’ve heard of The Weepies, I highly suggest digging into their music after you enjoy the rest of these Christmas tunes. As NPR once said, “The Weepies couldn’t write a bad song if they tried.”
Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” from A Neighborly Christmas, available for free on Noise Trade until Christmas! This version takes the cake for my favorite of this 75 year old duet (make sure to check out the music video). I highly recommend you catch their Christmas Tour as it’s of course spreading the joy around the south (we’ll be at the Atlanta show!) Bonus: both Drew and Ellie have been featured here and I can assure you that you’ll both see and hear them again here in the future.
My Morning Jacket “Xmas Time Is Here Again” from Does XMas Fiasco Style. It wasn’t until I saw this Kentuckian combo perform on VH1 Storytellers that I got hooked. Jim James’s voice is one of a kind, so it’s no figure that I’m a fan of their collection of unique Christmas songs, the one featured here being my absolutely favorite.
Keb’ Mo’ “Jingle Bell Jamboree” from his EP, The Spirit of Christmas. Keb ‘Mo’ lives in Nashville and is one of my favorite old fashioned style blues singers. He always does a solid job of “keeping his sound contemporary with touches of soul and folksy storytelling.”
David Crowder Band “The First Noel” from their new album, Oh For Joy. This version instantly became a favorite when I first heard it five days ago, as Crowder’s music tends to do when he records classics. This album is a refreshing take on Christmas favorites, blending folk, bluegrass, pop, rock and even some electronic dance rhythms to make it very much worth downloading. Bonus: they’re from Texas.
Until next Monday, follow the tweets for more Christmas song recommendations throughout the week!