holiday Archive

Album Review: Merry Christmas from Jackie Wilson

If you sent or received anything via the US Postal Service in the final months of 2020, you likely know that due to some serious shenanigans on the part of the DC regime that eventually rioted and then left town with its tail between its legs, mail was delayed. Sometimes extraordinarily so. I mention this

Album Review: Mrs. Miller – A Christmas Gift From Mrs. Miller & Other Stocking Stuffers

In the history of pop music, there are few tales stranger – and more inexplicable – than that of Elva Miller. In this postmodern era, the idea of so-bad-it’s-good has long since taken hold, so films like Plan Nine From Outer Space are looked upon as bent classics of a sort. And on the music

One from the Archives: Jamie Laval’s Celtic Christmas

2020 has been an unusual year .. to put it mildly. Pretty much nothing anywhere has gone as planned. Normally, by this time of year we’d all be gearing up for holiday festivities that include live music. But 2020 isn’t proving to be that kind of year. So here’s a feature — never before published

It’s a Goolie Get-together!

A little over a year ago I was tapped to write liner notes for the first-ever reissue (on CD and vinyl) of The Munsters, a cash-in album that’s actually pretty good. That gig eventually led to me getting another assignment with a similar theme: the liner notes for Groovie Goolies. As readers of a certain

Russ Wilson: It’s All About the Music

Russ Wilson is one of the busiest musicians in Western North Carolina. Leading or playing in no less than nine bands, the singer and multi-instrumentalist has still found time to compile an album of songs that showcase the breadth of his musical vision. And for the sixth year in a row, he was set to

Kat Williams: Season’s Gratitude

For nearly two decades, Katrina Way “Kat” Williams was a prominent fixture of Asheville’s live music scene. The vocalist’s multigenre repertoire earned her a place as one of the region’s most beloved performers. But a serious health condition largely sidelined her for several years. Twelve months to the day after a successful kidney transplant, Kat

Album Review: Amanda Anne Platt & the Honeycutters — Christmas on a Greyhound Bus

When an artist releases an album (or EP) of holiday music, it need not be designed to fulfill an obligation to a label. It also needn’t be a placeholder while a creatively spent artist treads water, waiting for the muse to return. And it doesn’t have to be a schmaltzy, pandering and overly sentimental collection

Holiday Music for 2019

‘Tis the season for holiday music. It’s a genre that often gets a bad rap, for good reason: a lot of it is pretty dire. Though there are classics (like Roy Wood’s “I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day,” ELP’s “I Believe in Father Christmas” and the Kinks’ rocking “Father Christmas”) it remains a

The Spirit of Christmas Lives in Hendersonville, N.C.

In between his jam-packed musical schedule, Hendersonville-born-and-raised Blake Ellege found the time to attend and graduate from the International University of Santa Claus. Fulfilling a lifelong ambition – a dream, really – Ellege says that he’s preparing to make his first annual “complete formal transformation” into the jolly St. Nicholas for the 2018 holiday season.

They Created a Monster: The Story of The Munsters’ 1964 LP

Though exploitation knows no era, the 1960s was truly the decade of the cash-in. Americans of a certain age recall that in the wake of the Beatles’ initial stateside success (beginning with a filmed show in Washington D.C. and a series of broadcasts on The Ed Sullivan Show), countless ripoff albums seemed magically to appear.