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My Kind Of Christmas

I’m not one to dive headfirst into Holiday music earlier than normal. I don’t know the exact annual date, but normally I at least wait until our American friends have devoured their Thanksgiving dinner and the Black Friday materialistic madness has subsided with as few bruises and scrapes as possible.. But on this mid-November Day, where it’s an unseasonal minus 6 celcius with a gusty breeze, fluttering snowflakes, a melange of snow remnants and discoloured decaying leaves on the ground, and the city’s Santa Claus Parade on the afternoon agenda, I’m thinking 2019 might be the exception to my rule.

Easing my senses into the imminent Christmas season is the new holiday release from Johnny Reid, My Kind Of Christmas, on Universal Music Canada.. The Scottish born Canadian offers a 5 song EP of mostly original music, which always catches my attention first among new seasonal offerings. Johnny’s style and sound have always been undefined and open to interpretation, and My Kind Of Christmas continues that aspect with a blend of pop, soul, blues, and rockabilly. Just like a charcuterie board of festive favourites, there’s an tempting assortment to enjoy.

The title song is a medium tempo offering that gets to the heart of a romantic Christmas celebration, complete with champagne and kisses, as he lyrically desires. Talk about being on Santa’s naughty list while the snow piles up outside! Turning to more traditional gifts of the season such as the sound of sleigh bells and children’s voices, 'Fa La La La La' is acoustic and hand clapping up-tempo magic, made even more splendid with accompanying background vocals of children, including Johnny's 9 year old daughter, Ava. By contrast, Reid unleashes a fast moving blues/rock Holiday party tune that in my estimation could melt a foot of snow in four minutes or less, titled 'Sounds Like Christmas'. The lead guitar solo, Hammond B3 organ, slick horn section and thumping beat are not for the eggnog sippers, unless you’re also having a whiskey chaser. Just as festive and spirited, and a guaranteed sing-a-long, is Reid’s version of 'Merry Christmas Everyone', a cover of the mid 80s Holiday hit by UK artist, Shakin’ Stevens. Finger snapping, heel tapping and a sublime arrangement of rhythms, guitars, brass, and keyboards unleash the ultimate show closer on any of his Christmas tour concerts getting underway this week across the country and Southern Ontario.

It might be the keeearliest start date for me to enjoy the musical aspect of the Christmas season, but I found out easily that Reid’s kind of Christmas is most definitely my kind of Christmas.

Reviewed By Stu Berketo

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