Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Solstice! Happy Kwanza! Whichever you prefer to celebrate is alright with me! And if you prefer to celebrate nothing, I say, “Celebrate life!” It’s short. So listen to some blues! Here’s this year’s playlist of Christmas blues, and because I celebrate Christmas, and I’m not aware of any blues songs about other winter celebrations (except for Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah Song, but it’s not really blues), this list is Christmas specific. But please feel free to add to it by dropping a comment below. Always happy to hear from you and love listening to songs I haven’t heard.
Hope you enjoy!
1. Merry Christmas Baby by B.B. King
This was always one of my daddy’s favorites. Today is his birthday, so in memory of singing this with him when I was little, here you go, Daddy!
2. Back Door Santa by The Black Crowes
I love their cover of this old Clarence Carter song. It’s just the right bluesy feel for a great Christmas song.
3. Christmas Blues by Canned Heat with Dr. John on piano.
Love, love, love this. I was fortunate to catch Canned Heat at a tiny Houston club back in the 70s. They showed up around 3 am and jammed until 6. A fabulous night (Morning) of Blues!
4. Please Come Home for Christmas by Charles Brown
Another one of Daddy’s favs. And one of mine.
5. Christmas Without You by John Popper and Eric Clapton
This is an awesome Christmas boogie. You can’t beat these two jamming together.
6. Santa Clause is Back in Town by Johnny Lang
At 15, Lang’s first album went platinum. He’s played with everybody from The Stones to Buddy Guy to Blues Traveler to B. B. King. So yeah, he’s good.
7. Blues for Christmas by John Lee Hooker
Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom! Ah, the master. John Lee Hooker just makes me smile. I love everything he does. Another stellar Mississippi bluesman who recorded with everyone: Elvin Bishop, Steve Miller, Canned Heat, Van Morrison.
8. I Want To Spend Christmas with You by Lowell Fulson
Probably best known for Everyday I Have the Blues, Reconsider Baby and Tramp, he’s a blues guitarist in the West Coast tradition.
9. Christmas Tears by Freddie King
One of the three Kings (Albert, B. B. and Freddie) of blues music, Freddie King’s most known songs are Have You Ever Loved a Woman and Hide Away. He blended Texas and Chicago style blues into a unique sound that earned him a place in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the number 15 spot on Rolling Stone’s Top 100 guitarists of all time.
10. Lonely Without You (This Christmas) by Mick Jagger, Joss Stone and Dave Stewart
I realized I hadn’t included any women on my list, but when you’re dealing with old blues not many women made real Blues Christmas songs. But I remembered two I love, and even though they’re collaborations, I think they fit the bill. Here’s the first:
10b. Merry Christmas Baby by Bonnie Raitt and Charles Brown
This is a repeat of #1, but well worth a listen.
10c. Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt
Just for fun!
Hope you enjoy the next week of blues. I’ll be listening to this playlist while I’m baking and wrapping gifts, and I hope you join in the fun.