Bongo Boy Records is back with their traditional holiday release, Let’s Have a Rockin’ Christmas. Volume 7, like the past editions, is arranged in the form of a compilation album and features 11 festive tracks by indie artists from around the world.
It’s Christmas Time is unashamedly sugary and sees Boys’N’Barry whip out an upbeat, pop-soul performance with some beautiful, doo-whop chord changes. It captures the warmth of holiday romance with lyrics like “I’ll be your Santa, your Santa, baby / I’ll be your present under the Christmas tree / You mean so much to me”. This melody is sure to swim around your head during the festive season.
We recently reviewed a single by The NEW Bardots and now we get the pleasure of hearing their nostalgic rock sound on the album’s second track, Never Too Much Christmas. A snarling blues shuffle is played by the guitar and sleigh bells embellish the drumbeat, giving the track that seasonal characteristic. The lyrics are light and entertaining and poke fun at ugly Christmas sweaters and holiday pastimes. The chorus is super catchy and sounds like The Blues Brothers would if they swapped out the dark sunglasses for Santa Hats and white beards.
Singer Courtland Thomas channels rock’n’roll legends Roy Orbison and Elvis Presley in the shuffling blues number, Every Christmas Side by Side. Close backing harmonies form a call-and-response dynamic with the main melody, and the lyrics speak to the simple pleasure of spending Christmas next to the fire, huddled up with a lover.
Mark Winter‘s track is a bouncy, bright number that creates a rich electronic backdrop for his cheery holiday lyrics in Christmas In The Air. Familiar Bongo Boy artist Annemarie Picerno brings a second round of bluesy flair to the album, with her soulful vocals and classic shuffle beat that ensures Mr. Santa will get you on your feet and dancing.
Other familiar faces from the Bongo Boy roster appear on this compilation as well. Palaces by Gar Francis is a slower and sultrier number, evoking the mystical, wonderous side of the holiday spirit. It’s Christmas Time Again by STUDEO is a sunny reminder of the group’s warm and inviting indie rock sound, using well-blended vocals and a gently lilting beat to drive the track. We also hear from David Scott Kocher with Christmas Time In The Carolina County which takes a soft approach, where a classic crooner vocal and gentle instrumentation are joined by just the slightest hint of Americana feel.
I’m Glad it’s Christmas Time features a wonderful orchestral arrangement of church bells, sleigh bells, and strings. Wayne Olivieri delivers a rousing vocal performance that embraces the joy of Christmas time and the lesson that it can teach us about spreading love and peace: “To show the young and lonely hearts a way to make your spirit strong”.
The album closer, Let’s Have a Rockin’ Christmas brings back the sound of early 2000’s garage/indie rock and is a collaboration between Myke Scavone and Jackie Kringle and The Elves. A throbbing bassline and offbeat snare groove offer up plenty of head-bopping action and are rounded out by grunge guitar, organ, and harmonica.
It can never hurt to have an extra set of Christmas songs at your disposal this time of year. So unpack the tinsel and festive lights and put this album on to give your mood a little lift. Let’s Have a Rockin’ Christmas Vol. 7is a brilliant collection of holiday tunes, and like the past releases, showcases some wonderful musicians and a diverse mix of styles from some of Bongo Boy Records’ strongest artists.
BELOW: Listen to Let’s Have A Rockin’ Christmas Vol. 7and connect with their website and social media platforms. Please support Bongo Boy Records by visiting them online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing their music! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!