“Knoxville Tennessee how you doin??” And so begin the festivities on Brian Setzer’s Christmas Comes Alive!, a 2010 release that combines Setzer’s two favorite genres as of late, the live album and the holiday record. He leads his swinging orchestra through seasonal tunes, making “Sleigh Ride” and “Winter Wonderland” jump, jive, and wail, digging out zany R&B and rock & roll standards like “Zat You Santa Claus?” and “Run Rudolph Run,” finding a way to make a medley of “Stray Cat Strut” and “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” Nothing is unexpected, then, but surprises are overrated for Christmas albums anyway. They should be comforting and reassuring, and that’s a Setzer specialty these days: you always know what you’re going to get -- a rollicking hybrid of jump blues and rockabilly -- and if that’s what you want out of a holiday record, Christmas Comes Alive! will not let you down.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine