Music Matters Review
Various—Christmas on the Lam and Other Songs From the Season
2016, Red House Records

There are probably many people who would not think this is a “Holiday Album.” There are no familiar Christmas carols, no typical pop arrangements and very little for the kids. These are also the reasons you should get yourself a copy of this collection. It starts out with the distinctly swampy voice of Davina and The Vagabonds covering “Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me).” Then little ones should exit, as we have Bill Kirchen and Austin de Lone letting it be known that “Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin’.” Heather Masse’s “Mittens” will make you blush with lyrics only mildly suggestive, but oh, how she sings them! Robin and Linda Williams mined their fine Holiday album
The First Christmas Gift for “Together All Alone,” sweetly picking up on Heather Masse’s under the covers theme. John Gorka evokes Buddy Holly’s ghost in “Holed Up in Mason City” The closest to traditional Christmas fare is the Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams cover of Elvis’s “Blue Christmas,” and if there is such a thing as a traditional honky-tonk Christmas song it’s “Christmas to Me” Dale Watson’s homecoming song. The Pines haunting cover of Gordon Lightfoot’s “Song For a Winter’s Night” reveals the beautiful yearning of this classic song. One of the best songs, “Glory Bound” by the Wailin’ Jennys, despite its frequent “hallelujahs,” is not a Christmas or winter song at all, but I’m glad it snuck in with the others. This the album to listen to when nothing will do but the kind of music you have grown to expect from Red House Records.—Michael Devlin