Charles Brown

Greatest Christmas Hits

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A collection of blues and jazz-inflected Christmas tunes highlighted by four songs from Charles Brown, the man who essentially brought R&B and the holidays together when he released the enduring "Merry Christmas Baby" in 1947. Greatest Christmas Hits is a delightful set that certainly rocks things up around the Christmas tree. "Merry Christmas Baby" is here in a re-recorded version, along with Brown's other big holiday hit, the equally as enduring "Please Come Home for Christmas," and two of his other yuletide attempts, "Christmas in Heaven" and "Just a Blessing." Jimmy Reed is on hand for a relatively polished (polished for Reed, that is) "Christmas Present Blues," while Big Joe Williams' "Christmas Blues" is a wonderfully ragged gem. Christmas and the blues go together better than you might think, thanks to the social and economic pressures the holiday season can bring, and the proof of that is here, amped up and rocked out like Santa blowing blues harp on a whiskey jag.

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