Over at JasonHare.com, my fellow bloggers Jason and Jefito have begun another season of Mellowmas. The weather outside is frightful, and so is their choice of music. The lads lovingly select Christmas tunes, post them and then gleefully rip them to shreds.
On Sunday, they posted Jim Nabors’ version of “O, Holy Night.”
Rob saw that and left this comment:
“For a GREAT take on this song, check out Irma Thomas’ version on a compilation called ‘A Creole Christmas.’ Goosebump-inducing stuff.”
Rob is correct.
As a reward for his insight, I promised Rob I would try to counteract the effects of Camp Mellowmas — or is that Mellowmas camp? — by offering that terrific song here tonight.
It’s one of three tunes that are reverent but thrilling.
“O, Holy Night,” Irma Thomas, from “A Creole Christmas,” 1990. Out of print and getting increasingly hard to find.
Done as a New Orleans dirge with some terrific Hammond organ.
“Ave Maria,” Stevie Wonder, from “A Motown Christmas,” 1973. Also out of print and getting increasingly hard to find.
A simple piano line and Stevie’s vocal — then listen for a 45-second harmonica solo about 2 minutes in — backed by a welling, soaring choir.
“Silent Night,” the Staple Singers, from “The 25th Day of December,” 1962, re-released on CD, 2007.
Listen for the reverb from Pops Staples’ guitar and some more sweet Hammond organ. (Circle back to Vol. 8 for more from this fine album.)
Enjoy. More to come.