New album release on Bongo Boy Records LETS HAVE A ROCKIN CHRISTMAS VOL 2 by Various Artists include Holiday Season songs by the following artists: Wayne Olivieri, Jody Quine & the Big Mr. C (Dan Berggren), Mike Peacock, Clifford Curry, Katie Garibaldi, Ricky Persaud Jr., Charles Brown, Paul Michael Tondreau, Ruth Weber and Chapman SoundCheck, Bobby Rue, Spyder Darling, Diana Barash, Big Chris & D'Bare Bones Band, Yona Pax and Ray Powers.
Release Date: 11.21.17 WORLDWIDE
(Physical and Digital)
Ho Ho Ho America!
It is I, the Grouch who stole Christmas here with a review of the second Bongo Boy Christmas album which is aptly entitled "Let's Have a Rockin' Christmas Volume 2"
This album has 16 tracks which are sure to get you into a festive mood.
1. Wayne Olivieri - I'm Glad It's Christmas Time Again 3:31 - This song starts out with some very appropriate bells. In fact, it isn't until the middle of the first verse when Wayne's voice really takes off that the listener realizes this is, in fact, a rock and roll song. The words are hopeful and make one want to believe that the world is not such a bad place after all. Musically, the band does a good job, but it is the vocals that are front and center on this track.
2. Jody Quine & the Big Mr. C (Dan Berggren) - Got My Eye on You, Santa 2:21 - I dig it. The song starts out with a funky groove and I really like the sound of the big cymbal crash. It sounds to me like he is smacking a ride cymbal. Aside from the piano which really swings, I find myself memorized by Jody's voice and wishing that I had a Santa suit.
3. Mike Peacock - Christmas Smile 3:33 - Mike has written nothing short of a beautiful song. The mellow vibe coupled with his voice make an absolutely infectious song that has massive earworm potential. I really like Mike's voice. His voice, with the piano in the background remind me of Bruce Hornsby, which in my opinion, is a complement.
4. Clifford Curry - Christmas Ain't No Time for The Blues 2:56 - Sweet! Man, I dig that harp. Clifford has a killer Blues voice and the band has all the lightning necessary for a massive rant. This song lasts just under three minutes, but could easily be extended to 20, and never get old! Well done guys!
5. Katie Garibaldi - Tomorrow Is Christmas Morning 3:48 - I really like the melodic guitar at the beginning. However, it is Katie's voice that immediately grabs my attention. She sings so well; it is a pleasure simply to listen to her. This is a beautiful, mellow, sweet Christmas song if there ever was one.
6. Ricky Persaud, Jr. - It's Christmas Time Again 4:13 - Ricky is a young cat who is working on a degree from the Berklee College of Music. He is also one of the most talented musicians I have heard in a long while. Right from the start Ricky has my attention as he takes a soft, yet catchy little run augmented with bells and morphs it into a jam! The thing is that even though the mood gets heavy and the guitar starts to blister, the melody is never lost. I have to admit that I find myself really enjoying the bells played in the background. Ah, but then Rick opens up on his guitar and my thoughts of quaint percussion sounds are GONE. This song alone is reason enough to purchase this album.
7. Charles Brown - Greensleeves 3:05 - Charles gives us a rendition of a classic Christmas song. I am utterly stunned and amazed. Charles is a fantastic guitarist. The best way I can describe this track is by referencing the movie Crossroads. Do you remember when Ralph Macchio's character beat Steve Vai, and thus saved Willie Brown from eternal damnation, by playing classical music? The way Charles Brown plays Greensleeves reminds me of the way in which when Ralph Macchio's character slew the mighty Steve Vai. It is beautiful and masterfully played.
8. Paul Michael Tondreau - Christmas Morning 3:09 - Paul has written a catchy tune that is sure to have the listener humming along. Paul's unique vocal style is accentuated by the background musicians. I am reminded of crooners from days gone by.
9. Ruth Weber and Chapman SoundCheck - The Dreydl Sing Along 1:52 - Man, I dig the harmonies on this track. This is a swinging tune. I have never heard the dreydl (or dreidel) explained in such an infectious way. Who knew Chanukah rocked so much? I would love to this band live. I bet they put on one outrageously fun show!
10. Bobby Rue - Oh Christmas Time 2:05 - I have been a fan of Bobby's for a while and was saddened to read of his passing. I am so glad that this song is included on this album. Bobby was a very good musician and I wish I had had the chance to jam with him. Rest in Peace Bobby. This song is a perfect example of Bobby's music. It is basic, raw, emotional and hits the listener right in the gut. When Jack Kerouac went on the road to find America, it was people like Bobby he was looking for.
11. Spyder Darling - Citizen Kane Christmas 3:44 - I like the way the song starts. It is heavy with a melodic, yet intense lead guitar. Aside from the music which is very well played and Spyder's voice which is haunting as well as compelling, I like the theme of the song as Citizen Kane is an excellent film. (Oh, and the lead guitar simply rocks.) I would very much like to see Spyder's live show!
12. Diana Barash - Christmas Time 3:54 - Now, this is different, and I like it! I have never heard a Synth Pop Christmas song before. The thing that is really cool is that Diana has an old school R&B voice that oozes soul. I find myself grooving to the beat as I smile that goofy smile I get when I really like a piece of music. Man, she can sing!
13. Ricky Persaud Jr. - Reggae Christmas 4:04 - Ricky is back, and you have to listen to his voice. Man, this kid can sing (as well as play any instrument he chooses…well). The whole idea of a Reggae Christmas is kind of cool. I like the lyrics as well as the music. When Ricky sings about not wanting to deal with the snow and walking around the Christmas palm tree all I can think is how nice that would be! Ricky has written a song that is sure to get inside your head. Good job Ricky.
14. Big Chris & D'Bare Bones Band - You'll Shoot Your Eye Out 3:31 - Okay, when I read the title of this track the first thing that came to mind was the movie A Christmas Story and the phrase "It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye." Musically, I dig what they are doing. I love Texas Blues and I hear a definite ZZ Top vibe in this song. I swear there is an Alice Cooper influence when Big Chris snarls the chorus "You'll shoot you eye out!" All in all, this is one of the most rocking songs on the album and one that will be on my personal playlist! (I dig the Cheech and Chong style spoken word ending - Big Chris you made me laugh out loud.)
15. Yona Pax- Merry Christmas 3:14 - The wind sound effects at the beginning are kind of cool. Then a synthesizer dominated French reggae vibe kicks in. I have to say, I am really enjoying this song even though I don't know French. The music is good, and her voice sounds so joyful, how could one not like this song?
16. Ray Powers - Christmas Miracle (Live) 4:37 - The last song on the album is a live track, which is nice. Ray has a really good voice and the music is much more than simply pleasant. It sounds, to me, like Ray and his band are just having a lot of fun while they are playing this song. Personally, I cannot think of a better way to conclude a Rock and Roll Christmas album. When this song is over I am going to give my daughter a hug. Listen to the song and you will understand.
So, what is the bottom line? The bottom line is that for the second year in a row Bongo Boy has released a holiday album that will brighten anyone's day and spread Christmas cheer to anyone within earshot. -The Grouch