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Evan John & His H-BombsWhile researching this piece, I've read a number of unfavorable reviews of Please Mr. Santa Claus (1990), a brief, 9-song outing by Austin-via-Washington D.C. axe shredder Evan Johns & His H-Bombs. Most of them mention the fact that it just doesn't "sound" like a Christmas record. Well, the simple fact of the matter is that most of the songs on Please Mr. Santa Claus are either original or instrumental or both. Hence, their unfamiliarity is more the problem than any lack of quality. Really people - it's called perspective, get some!

Please Mr. Santa Claus was originally released on (red!) vinyl by Austin-based Jungle Records, then rereleased by Rykodisc during Johns' brief association with the label. Frankly, I think it's a peach of a record - roots rock at its merriest, though modest to a fault. And, it's an unintended blessing that Evan Johns only sings only one song: simply put, he has a voice only a frog could love...

Anyway, Please Mr. Santa Claus maintains an easygoing balance between John's jocular personality (the title song) and his impressive six-string pyrotechnics ("Mule Size Yuletide"). Whether he's spicing up the classics ("Little Cajun Drummer Boy") or sending St. Nick to the moon (the guitar rock classic "Telstar," which I suppose makes sense in light of all those TV weathermen who track St. Nick's progress via radar on Christmas Eve), Evan Johns and his merry band, including guitarist Mark Korpi and fiddler Champ Hood, consistently create an unconventional - but always agreeable - holiday mood.

If Please Mr. Santa Claus doesn't sound familiar, listen to the final track, "Santa's Little Helper," a few dozen times. See if it doesn't put you in the mood for something merry. Conjuring images of hyperkentic elves and harried shoppers, the song earns a spot in the Christmas canon next to Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride." And that, familiar or not, is a solid gold recommendation. [top of page]

Albums Albums

SongsSongs

  • Little Cajun Drummer Boy
  • Mule Size Yuletide
  • Please Mr. Santa Claus
  • Santa's Little Helper

Further ListeningFurther Listening

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