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Rodney Crowell | Christmas Everywhere

The Houston Kid makes you laugh, cry & appreciate your lot on his holiday album.

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“Christmas, Christmas, Christmas, Christmas, Christmas out the waz. Christmas, Christmas, Christmas, Christmas, Christmas up the shnoz.” If that line from the title track to Rodney Crowell’s first holiday album doesn’t tell you pretty much everything you need to know about his attitude toward the whole sordid affair, I don’t know how to make it any clearer. Suffice to say the Houston Kid-turned-Nashville icon isn’t one of those folks who melts into a caroling sap and starts spewing glad tidings at the first sign of mistletoe and holly. Instead, the legendary songwriter clearly takes a slightly more jaundiced view of the whole Yule parade here, pitching lighthearted jabs at rampant commercialization, enforced jolliness, holidays in small-town hell and fat guys in chimneys. The musical wrapping on these 12 original numbers is equally colourful, merrily moving from honky-tonk, blues, roots-rock and country shuffles to close-harmony carols, horn-topped rockabilly and slinky R&B. It isn’t all Grinchiness and giggles, though. Crowell gets serious and sincere long enough to offer up bittersweet lovelorn fare like Merry Christmas From an Empty Bed, Christmas in New York and Come Christmas. They not only help balance out his Scroogier tendencies; they also transform Christmas Everywhere into an album that will make you laugh out loud, shed a tear and appreciate your lot in the space of 40 minutes. If that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about Crowell’s tremendous talents, well, I can’t help you there either.