Yo Humbug! / Various
Inspired by the likes of James Brown ('Funky Christmas'), Chuck Berry ('Run, Run Rudolph'), Rahsaan Roland Kirk ('We Free Kings') and the King himself ('Blue Christmas'), A-Tone Music has jumped into holiday madness with a strange collection of Christmas, New Year, and seasonal tunes. Where else could you find Atlanta's Latin/reggae/hip hop stalwarts Mandorico singing about a 'partridge inna pear tree?' Or Asheville, NC's premier rag 'n' roll band The Blue Rags, renowned for their instrumental prowess, delivering an avant-garde a cappella version of 'Carol of the Bells'? Or UNC-Asheville music prof Dr. Wayne Kirby, inventor of Phi-Music, waxing funky on 'Little Drummer Boy'? Or Congolese multi-instrumentalist Samba Ngo offering an African New Year's wish? The collection also features Charleston, WV roots/r&b band The Carpenter Ants testifying on a sizzling gospel workout, 'Go Where I Send Thee;' Washington, DC jazz/ska group Eastern Standard Time skanking mightily on 'The Return of the Prophet;' Western NC 'Instrumentalist of the Year' (according to Mtn. Xpress) Tyler Ramsey picking a beautiful 'Go Tell It On the Mountain;' UNC-Asheville jazz guitarist Tim Haden arranging a synth-ed out version of 'We Three Kings'; and Asheville's own Jr. James and the Late Guitar giving the holidays a slip with the wry 'Christmas Adam.' . . . and a Happy New Year! Peace.