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December People: Rattle & Humbug | FESTIVALPHOTO

December People: Rattle & Humbug



Magna Carta/Border

No one can miss out of what DECEMBER PEOPLE are playing. Christmas songs are popular this time of year, but here are seasoned session musicians doing the songs the way they believe a number of rock and pop legends had done the songs themselves. The players are; Robert Berry (3, KEITH EMERSON, KARL PALMER, solo), bass/vocals, Gary Phil (BOSTON, ex. SAMMY HAGAR), guitars, Mike Vanderhule, drums, (Y&T), Jack Foster (solo), guitars, and David Medd (THE TUBES), keyboards. They bring us tracks in the vein of THE WHO, ELP, QUEEN, BOSTON, and LED ZEPPELIN, on with the show.

The Christmas albums will no doubt hail in 2010 too, but how many can sport “in the vein of…”? I believe DECEMBER PEOPLE will be unique, again. They were probably that in 2001 too, when they debuted with “Sounds Like Christmas”. Something that caught my attention is in the vein of THE WHO, who are hard at work on a new album, as well as the pausing LED ZEPPELIN. The former gets to indirectly treat “Joy to the World – Jingle Bells” as a Brit rock version. The zepps get a Stairway-reminiscent “The Night Before Christmas”. It is so imaginatively witted that even I like it, who normally thinks nothing much of Plant & Co. They also go for an ELP version of “Little Drummer Boy”, with drum rolls and heavy doses of keyboards. A QUEEN-ized “I hear the Bells on Christmas Day” is also attempted, but Robert is alas not Freddie Mercury. Since Gary Phil is in the band, they go for “God Rest Ye Merry gentlemen – The First Noel”, the BOSTON way. That song actually becomes my favorite, with a lot of melody and a genuine feeling. Apart from QUUEN I get the feeling that the meticulously copied artists would approve of this album. They have eons of routine and experience to lean on. This is a cozy Christmas Warmer with only a slightly and very faint relation to “Cashing in on Christmas”.

Track List
What Child Is This (Style of U2)
Joy to the World - Jingle Bells (Style of THE WHO)
We Three Kings (Style of STING)
Little Drummer Boy (Style of ELP)
Up on the Rooftop - Feliz Navidad (Style of SANTANA)
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day (Style of QUEEN)
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - The First Noel (Style of BOSTON)
Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (Style of ZZ TOP)
The Night Before Christmas (Style of LED ZEPPELIN)
Angels We Have Heard on High (Stle of PETER GABRIEL)
Carol of the Bells (Style of YES)

Writer: Mikael Johansson
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