DISClaimer: Indie Acts Bring Holiday Offerings

Lucas Hoge

As we bid adieu to 2017, the indie country acts are bringing up the rear with their various holiday offerings.

Lucas Hoge wins the Disc of the Day with his strong vocal performance. The female prize goes to Heidi Raye, another confident belter. The group award goes to Bubba T & Natalie Rose, who sound like they’d be fun to have around at your Christmas party.

Happy holidays, one and all.

JEFF CROSBY/Christmas in the Palms
Writers: none listed; Producers: none listed. Publishers: none listed; Rock By the Sea (CDX)
-It’s about getting out of sunny California to celebrate the holidays in snowy Idaho. He has a friendly, folkie delivery, and the production is appropriately spare.

LUCAS HOGE/Ho Ho Home for the Holidays
Writers: none listed; Producers: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Rebel (CDX)
– This swings gently with a lightly jazzy vibe. His vocal is confident, solid and right on the money. Highly recommended.

ANALISA & JOHN/Make Christmas Last This Year
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Analisa Rotella & John Gallo (track)
– Beyond amateurish. The recording quality is stunningly sub par. She can barely sing, and is buried in the mix way beneath his electric-guitar noodling in any case.

BRETT ELDREDGE/Glow
Writers: none listed; Producers: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Atlantic (CDX)
– This is the title tune to the big-band, pop holiday album that Brett issued last year. Despite his unquestioned country credentials, don’t look here if you’re looking for a country Christmas record. But if you feel like scratching a Sinatra itch, step right up.

 

CB30/The Christmas Song
Writers: none listed; Producers: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Buena Vista/Universal (CDX)
– Stacked vocal harmonies, finger snaps and a soaring string section. Thanks, I’ll take Nat King Cole instead.

BUBBA T & NATALIE ROSE/Frosty the Snowman
Writers: none listed; Producers: none listed; Publishers: none listed; AmeriMonte (CDX)
-The quasi-rockabilly arrangement works surprisingly well. Natalie out-sings Bubba, but he has his own warm, low-key charm.

JOSEPH JAMES/Christmas in My Hometown
Writers: none listed; Producers: none listed; Publishers: none listed; JJC (CDX)
– You probably know 20 people who can sing this well or better. 12/21/2017

HEIDI RAYE/I’m Gonna Wish You a Merry Christmas
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; HH (CDX)
– She’s a blue-collar babe who is defiantly not politically correct while shopping down at the Wal-Mart. Bopping and full of personality.

RE MATTEI/Santa’s Gone Country
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Trendy Girl (CDX)
– This double-time two-step is sure to liven up your holiday party. Everybody hit that honky-tonk dance floor!

JENNY TOLMAN/Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; JT
– This former DisCovery Award winner has a remake of the 1958 Brenda Lee rockabilly classic as her yuletide offering. This arrangement slows things down to a relaxed bop, embellished by honking harmonica, snazzy electric guitar and tinkling piano. Sweetly enjoyable.

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Robert K. Oermann is a longtime contributor to MusicRow. He is a respected music critic, author and historian.

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