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The Brantley Family Band

The Brantley Family Band has a massive (and growing) collection of Christmas music available to download.  Every year since 2004, they have released a little Christmas album with 4 to 6 songs "as a sort of musical Christmas card for [their] friends, families, and fans all over the world."  There is nothing available for 2010 yet, but in the meantime you can download all 28 songs from the first 6 albums directly from their website, or from Bandcamp, where you can download a .zip file of the entire collection (if you do that, though, just note that "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas" may be mislabelled as "Deck the Halls").

Your musical tastes will need to be at least a little bit on the adventurous side in order to take it all in.  For the most part, things sound pretty "normal", but there are also songs like "Silent Nite", which veers toward death metal with its chugging, distorted guitars and growling, processed vocals, or "Jingle Bell Rock", which goes through about a half dozen different styles in its 2 minutes and 21 seconds.  "Last Christmas" and "Feliz Navidad" are both performed fairly straight, at least until you get to the random metal outbursts in the middle of them.  I'm not trying to scare anyone away from downloading this collection - just trying to get the idea across that it is rather more eclectic than most Christmas music that I come across (in all honesty, it was the odd, reggae-tinged rendition of "Blue Christmas" found here that prevented me from posting about it the other day, when I opted for Joshua James' more straight-ahead version).

Some of the highlights are rocking, guitar-based versions of "Linus and Lucy" and "Joy to the World", both of which would not sound out of place on a Merry Axemas album; a bluesy "Merry Christmas Baby", which works surprisingly well as a duet (at least I've never heard it done that way before - if there are other duet versions of this song, please let me know!); and a beautiful, acoustic guitar-based, instrumental version of "Morning Star".  My favourite of all, though, is "Fat Daddy", a song I'd never heard before.  The whole song has a zany Frank Zappa feel to it, from the "La la la la laaaaa" female vocals, to the spoken section near the end, to the ripping guitar solo that closes the song.  About the only information I can find on this song is that it's an obscure song recorded by a radio DJ in the 1950s, so I'm glad that the Brantley Family Band has made a version available for everyone to hear.

Happy listening!



BFB said...

Thanks for your kind words about our music!

I wanted to let you know that the 2010 Xmas album is now up on thebrantleyfamilyband.com!

-The Brantley Family Band

JT said...

Thanks! I've actually been enjoying the new album all day. That's an insane version of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch"! I'll be looking forward to your albums every year now.

Merry Christmas!