The ex-Eurythmics vocalist-composer turned blue-eyed soul soloist, Annie Lennox has recorded a collection of traditional carols. "I've known these songs, these carols all my life," says Lennox. "I've sung them since I was little. They're just in me. They're a huge part of my life." A Christmas Cornucopia includes backing by a 30-piece orchestra, vocals recorded on locaton in South Africa with the African Children's Choir, and a new Lennox composition, "Universal Child". The artist earmarked all of the proceeds from the 2010 album to her own Annie Lennox Foundation, which funds HIV/AIDS prevention and education projects in Africa.
It seems just a tad strange to be mentioning Bob Dylan and a Christmas album in the same sentence, but such is the artist's legacy that you can always expect him to do the unexpected. Christmas In The Heart has generous helpings of both traditional and contemporary carols.
Like the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) the Brian Setzer Orchestra (BSO) has built something of a franchise around live and recorded performances of Christmas music. Where TSO employs multiple electric guitars and a big orchestral sound, BSO features Setzer's vocals and a '50s rock 'n' roll motif to celebrate the holidays. Christmas Comes Alive!, released in 2010, is BSO's fourth Christmas album.
Dan Hicks was a fixture in San Francisco's eclectic rock scene in the '60s, starting with The Charlatans then forming his own Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks in 1968. The band's music defies easy labeling, mixing elements of bebop, bluegrass, pop and folk. As a result, Hicks was a darling of the psychedelic rock community simply because of his musical eccentricity. Thus, it isn't hard to imagine that the band's first Christmas album, 2010's Crazy For Christmas would appeal as much to the free-sprited Haight-Ashbury crowd as to their straight-laced grandparents.
This five song maxi-single wasn't intended as a Christmas record. It is the result of Jimi Hendrix and the Band of Gypsies fooling around as they rehearsed for concerts at Filmore East during the 1969 holiday season. This probably won't be the first CD you run for when it's time to cue up the holiday music, but it is definitely worth having for its historical and entertainment value.