By Staff; thumbnail by Nathan Presley on November 27, 2012
December isn't always about grinning and gift-giving. It should be, but sometimes, that third glass of eggnog really starts to drag you down, and you start wondering why Santa isn't on a diet like the rest of us and why only the creepiest of creepers gather around the mistletoe.
If you're not anticipating a "White Christmas," hop on board the "Blue Christmas" train with Cincinnati alt-rockers and SXSW favorites, Heartless Bastards. The HB's do a brilliant version of this classic Christmas anthem, written by Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson, and later made popular by Elvis and The Beach Boys alike.
The Heartless Bastards' cover is just as authentic and heartwrenching, however, unlike the other two versions, this one is fronted by female vocals and sucks you into a lonesome life on the frontier, with its beautiful country and folk-fused melodies.
Listen to the track below, but to play it to your heart's content this holiday season, purchase a copy of the 17-track Christmas compilation, Holidays Rule, released via Hear Music/Concord Music Group on October 30.
Some of our other favorite musicians are contributors as well: Andrew Bird, The Head and the Heart, Calexico, Paul McCartney...whew, already out of breath!
Holidays Rule Tracklist:
1. fun: "Sleigh Ride"
2. The Shins: "Wonderful Christmas Time"
3. Rufus Wainwright with Sharon Van Etten: "Baby It's Cold Outside"
4. Paul McCartney: "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire"
5. Black Prairie feat. Sallie Ford: "Man With the Bag"
6. Civil Wars: "I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day"
7. Calexico: "Green Grows the Holly"
8. AgesandAges: "We Need A Little Christmas"
9. Holly Golightly: "That's What I Want for Christmas"
10. Irma Thomas with Preservation Hall Jazz Band: "May Everyday Be Christmas"
11. Heartless Bastards: "Blue Christmas"
12. Eleanor Friedberger: "Santa Bring My Baby Back to Me"
13. Fruit Bats: "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas"
14. Y La Bamba: "Senor Santa"
15. The Punch Bros.: "O Come O Come, Emmanuel"
16. The Head & The Heart: "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve"
17. Andrew Bird: "Auld Lang Syne"