Inspired by the likes of James Brown ("Funky Christmas"), Chuck Berry ("Run, Run Rudolph"), Rahsaan Roland Kirk ("We Free Kings") and the King himself ("Blue Christmas"), A-Tone Music has jumped into holiday madness with a strange collection of Christmas, New Year, and seasonal tunes.
Where else could you find Atlanta's Latin/reggae/hip hop stalwarts Mandorico singing about a "partridge inna pear tree?" Or Asheville, NC's premier rag 'n' roll band The Blue Rags, renowned for their instrumental prowess, delivering an avant-garde a cappella version of "Carol of the Bells"? Or UNC-Asheville music prof Dr. Wayne Kirby, inventor of Phi-Music, waxing funky on "Little Drummer Boy"? Or Congolese multi-instrumentalist Samba Ngo offering an African New Year's wish?
The collection also features Charleston, WV roots/r&b band The Carpenter Ants testifying on a sizzling gospel workout, "Go Where I Send Thee;" Washington, DC jazz/ska group Eastern Standard Time skanking mightily on "The Return of the Prophet;" Western NC "Instrumentalist of the Year" (according to Mtn. Xpress) Tyler Ramsey picking a beautiful "Go Tell It On the Mountain;" UNC-Asheville jazz guitarist Tim Haden arranging a synth-ed out version of "We Three Kings"; and Asheville's own Jr. James and the Late Guitar giving the holidays a slip with the wry "Christmas Adam."
. . . and a Happy New Year!