Makes no difference if you've been naughty or nice, 'cause it's a Gary U.S. Bonds Christmas! Either way, "Santa Gary" is comin' down your chimney to start your party and he ain't leaving until he's had a cup of good cheer and a slow dance with your sister.
"It's about time," said the legendary master of good time party sounds, "I haven't recorded a Christmas song since 1967."
Bonds shares production with daughter Laurie and the 10 cuts are a tasty assortment of Christmas old, new, borrowed and bluesy. Eight of the songs are originals with "Baby, Baby It's Christmas," being a rare, unplugged, anthem to the holidays that's sure to get play on all formats. Bonds soars above a chorus of strings and treats the elegant lyric like an old friend who's dropped in to remind us all about what's really important this time of year.
Of course, no Bonds effort is complete without an up-tempo party sound or two and the title cut easily fills the order along with the sly "Christmas is a Phone Call Away," which calls to mind the Coasters, "Shopping for Clothes," done Bo Diddley style. "Christmas in Nu Awlins," is a solid second line stomp in familiar territory for Bonds who then takes us further south from the Crescent City to parts near Montego Bay and shows that his Caribbean repertoire includes both calypso and reggae beats.
But before we head on to New Years, Bonds asks wife and daughter to put their stamp on standards "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," and "White Christmas." They do the Drifters' treatment of the Irving Berlin classic with wife Laurie ably handling the alto lead and daughter navigating the classic falsetto run.
"Christmas is ON!" is available now on G.L.A. Records. So throw a Yule log on the fire, "Christmas is ON!" on your CD player and a hot rockin' Noel is guaranteed.
And don't forget, "By U.S. Bonds, Thatís My Story," the long-awaited Gary U.S. Bonds memoir from Wheatley Press hits all leading booksellers January 15, 2013.