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Blue Yule: Christmas Blues And R&B ClassicsAlmost any Christmas disc on Rhino Records is worthy of your hard-earned green, and Blue Yule: Christmas Blues And R&B Classics (1991) is no exception. No other single disc on the market makes such a wide sweep across this rich genre - if anything too broad, picking up rock-related sides like Canned Heat's "Christmas Blues" to the exclusion of more authentic blues. But never mind that, blues purists will find plenty to love. On the whole, Blue Yule leans leans towards down 'n' dirty, obscure blues records (though it includes selections from stars Charles Brown, Lightnin' Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, and Sonny Boy Williamson), and it's not for the faint-of-heart. This is a rough crowd, and the hapless revelers in these songs are just as likely to spend Christmas drunk, in jail, or dead (or all three) as they are to be safe in the warm hearth of home. That makes it perfect for many of us (remember, suicides are more common during the holiday season) and a helluva lotta fun for the rest.

At eighteen songs, Blue Yule provides enough wiggle room for Rhino to include the gospel warbling of the Pilgrim Travelers, a smooth, latter-day effort from Louis Jordan, and a giddy, nearly out-of-control soul celebration by one Detroit Junior - the sort of weird, wonderful moment that will make Blue Yule so pleasing and invaluable to collectors. [top of page]

Albums Albums


  • Blues For Christmas (John Lee Hooker, 1954)
  • Christmas Blues (Canned Heat, 1968)
  • Christmas Day (Detroit Junior, 1960)
  • Christmas Time (Jimmy McCracklin, 1961)
  • Christmas Time Blues (Roy Milton, 1950)
  • Happy New Year (Lightnin' Hopkins, 1953)
  • I Want My Baby For Christmas (Jimmy Liggins, 1950)
  • I'll Be Home For Christmas (Pilgrim Travelers 1952)
  • Merry Christmas (Lightnin' Hopkins, 1953)
  • Merry Christmas Baby (Charles Brown, 1956)
  • Merry Christmas Darling (Poppa Hop, 1961)
  • Please Come Home For Christmas (The Insight, 1965)
  • Santa Claus (Sonny Boy Williamson, 1960)
  • Santa Claus, Santa Claus (Louis Jordan, 1968)
  • Santa Claus Baby (Voices, 1955)
  • Santa's Messin' With The Kid (Eddie C. Campbell, 1977)

Further ListeningFurther Listening

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