Happy Holidays from the entire team at BGS! The holiday weekend fast approaches and while we’re taking time away from our screens and inboxes this season, we hope you are, too. We’ll be back with more roots music content next week, but for now enjoy our final BGS Wraps before Christmas.
Wherever you travel and whatever your plans are as you wrap up 2023 and look ahead to 2024, we’re so grateful that you’re part of the BGS family.
Ellen Angelico AKA “Uncle Ellen,” Christmas at the Firehouse
Ellen Angelico is an in-demand side musician and session player in Nashville, touring, recording, and performing with artists like Cam, Amythyst Kiah, Adeem the Artist, Allison Russell, and many more. Christmas at the Firehouse is a fun and light holiday EP full of classic tunes and even a number for the Scandinavian winter holiday, St. Lucia’s Day. It’s a perfect addition to BGS Wraps!
Luke Bulla, Holiday Songs
Only available via Bandcamp, fiddler and singer-songwriter Luke Bulla’s seasonal album, Holiday Songs, showcases the particular intersections of Bulla’s musical career and artistry – Texas and Nashville, bluegrass and country, contest fiddling’s polish and old-time fiddling’s grit. “Christmas for Cowboys” is delightfully country & western and his version of “Auld Lang Syne” has us looking ahead to the new year already.
Celeigh Cardinal, “Party of One”
“New Year’s never comes/ When you’re nothing more than a party of one/…”
One of Celeigh Cardinal’s most experimental and far-reaching releases, this vibey and lush alt-pop track celebrates and bemoans solitude at the holiday season, especially the transition from the old year to the new. Add this one to your NYE playlist for sure.
Erin Enderlin, “A Horse Named Christmas”
Horse Girl Christmas is an aesthetic we could certainly get behind! Country singer-songwriter Erin Enderlin is joined by Kimberly Kelly on “A Horse Named Christmas,” a rare instance of a waning country and roots music tradition – the horse song. Co-written by Enderlin and Kelly, the track is a love song meets story song about a wayward, down-trodden horse showing up at the back gate in December.
Sarah King, “The Longest Night”
The light is coming back! If you’ve been counting down the days to solstice’s long, dark night and the eventual return of the sun, you’re not alone. On Sarah King’s soulful new track, “The Longest Night,” hope shines through a sense of weary perseverance. It’s an excellent song to score your solstice.
Alan Lomax Collection, Songs of Christmas, Midwinter & New Year
Another Bandcamp exclusive, the Alan Lomax Collection released a new compilation earlier this month called Songs of Christmas, Midwinter & New Year. The album features tracks recorded by Lomax in the ‘50s and ‘60s and highlights folk traditions from all around the world, from Italy to Trinidad, Harlem to Nevis.
J. Morrow, Lauren Morrow, “Strange Christmas”
An alt-rock, Americana number that celebrates – and decries – a strange, strange Christmas. We all know the sort of holiday, where the best strategy is to just get through it. Maybe your tree is a little wonky, your loved ones are far away, and you’re feeling more like Scrooge than Tiny Tim. It’s okay to have a “Strange Christmas.”
Mason Ramsey, “Run Run Rudolph”
We are proud and unapologetic Mason Ramsey fans over here and not just for his Wal-Mart yodeling. Who else agrees!? A fun and raucous holiday track from Ramsey adds a bit of chicken pickin’ to the forward leaning, Chuck Berry-inspired sound.
Scythian, Christmas Out at Sea
If you’re one of the folks for whom 2020’s sea shanty craze never ended, Scythian have released a holiday album just for you! Christmas Out at Sea is a maritime holiday delight by the premier dance and late night band of the roots music festival scene. Of course the collection kicks off with “I Saw Three Ships.”
Serabee, “Bayou Christmas”
Maybe your Christmas tree is a cypress or a live oak? Maybe you’re spending the holiday on stilts or boiling seafood or slow simmering gumbo? However swampy your season, Serabee’s “Bayou Christmas” will get you in the mood.
Jordyn Shellhart, Cross-Legged By the Fireplace
Jordyn Shellhart made our BGS Class of 2023 Good Country year-end round-up and the country artist – with a solidly mainstream sound – put out a cozy and delightful holiday EP this year, as well. She covers Joni Mitchell’s “River” and another more recent holiday song, “You Make It Feel Like Christmas.” On the latter, the EP’s standout track, she’s joined by Austin Snell for a tender duet. The project culminates with an original, “Coming To Town,” that will have you curling up by the fireplace, too.
Hunter Stone, “Ugly Sweater Party”
As you don your hideous-yet-beautiful holiday sweaters this season, Hunter Stone has the soundtrack for you! Although, a bit of critical feedback Hunter, we don’t think your pictured sweater is nearly ugly enough for the album art. This is a toe-tapping song that will have you grinning above your turtleneck. Lose that button on your slacks!
Our Classic Holiday Album Recommendation of the Week:
Vince Guaraldi Trio, A Charlie Brown Christmas
BGS Wraps would have been an absolutely phony endeavor if it didn’t end up including Vince Guaraldi Trio’s A Charlie Brown Christmas as a Classic Holiday Album Recommendation. This record can do it all, from the fanciest of dinner parties to the most casual and unhinged dance pajama parties with the siblings and cousins. It’s a heavy dose of nostalgia and an unimpeachable collection of music, too.
Happy Holidays from all of us at BGS! We’ll have a New Year’s themed BGS Wraps for you next week, ‘til then – peace, love, and joy from us to you.