Saturday, October 8, 2011

Day One: Bolton, Caterer, McClain, and More!

(Note: It's obvious that this is not being posted exactly one day after my last post...Let's just say, I have children and leave it at that...)

Okay, so day one of the Christmas music experiment and I arise rested (right!  Like I said, I have kids...) and ready for the day.  I've gotta admit, as geeky as it sounds, and it is geeky, I'm pretty excited about giving myself permission to rock the holiday tunes so early in the year.  So I reach into my grab bag of music, digging out a handful of albums and head off to start the day.

So the morning commute begins with none other than that bastion of blue-eyed soul, Michael Bolton, and his first holiday offering, This Is the Time: The Christmas Album.  I know, I know, you either hate the guy or you celebrate his entire catalog.  I've got a little lame in me so I guess I skew toward the catalog end although, let's be honest, we can't quite celebrate the whole deal.  This album, however, is well worth the listen.  It's wonderfully out there, taking on the sacred and the secular with plenty of gusto, finding Bolton dueting with folks as diverse as Pavarotti and Wynonna, and is pleasantly over the top.  A good way to start the day.

I will confess that, as it is at that time of year in our sunny Florida where the weather has made that wondefully pleasant change, dropping into the low 60's and into the 70's, I was rocking Mr. Bolton on my commute with the windows and sunroof down and, at times, I did feel a little conspicuous.  I was at a traffic light as a few high school students walked by, my car stereo blaring out "Joy to the World," and yeah, I just kept my eyes facing forward.

But the day went on and I didn't get to listen to my next album until I arrived at my second job at Living Word.  This is a job that affords me primo listening time as it's me, the CD player, a computer, and tons of boxes filled with products to be received.  And if they're not being received, they're being sent back.  So it's pretty ideal.

Josh Caterer's The Heart of Christmas EP was up next, an album that I'm reviewing for (review forthcoming) and it was a nice, indie segue into the evening.  Jason Crabb's Because It's Christmas followed hard after that, the southern gospel magnet invoking some nice R&B and gospel elements into an album that starts slow but ends pretty strong.  Another new album followed in after that, with TobyMac's Christmas in Diverse City taking center stage.  It's another one that's got a review coming here so I'll say little about it.

Last but not least came the shining gem of the day with an album that I'd not heard in some time.  Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours' Merry Christmas From the Trailer Park.  I know, it sounds like some sort of cheesy Weird Al sort of thing but, rather, it's a really funny and surprisingly poignant look at what, for me, is a real person's holiday as opposed to those personified on TV and in movies.  This is middle America at it's best, with McClain weaving humor and hymns together effectively and melting your heart in the process.  Let's be honest, this is a guy whose catalog is a little more worthy of celebrating.  (For some extra fun listening, give Trailercana a shot.)

So that concluded day one.  And I've got to say, the only weird thing is that I'm thinking Christmassy now, if that makes sense.  I'm ready for some gingerbread or eggnog or something...We'll see what day two brings about...

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