Another Christmas is here, so we’ve updated “a very grassy Christmas” for 2014. The list that began in 2011 and has grown every year since, didn’t get many additions this year. But it got every track from my favorite new Christmas album by Sun Kil Moon frontman Mark Kozelek (Amazon & Spotify), which is just as Kozelek fans would hope for – stripped down and somber renditions of traditional tunes centered around that haunting voice. On the other end of the spectrum, gospel legends The Blind Boys of Alabama teamed up with blues legend Taj Mahal for Talkin’ Christmas (Amazon & Spotify) for a nice soulful record of traditionals and originals featuring Mahal on guitar, banjo, ukulele and harmonica.
One of the better compilations of the year is An Americana Christmas (Amazon & Spotify), which includes a few great old time tracks like Emmylou’s “The First Noel” and Cash’s “The Gifts They Gave,” but of note are renditions of “Pretty Paper” by Robert Ellis and my favorite original of the year “FaLaLaLaLove Ya” by Nikki Lane.
A good folks at Amazon have cooked up a sweet Christmas playlist of traditional covers and originals exclusively available for Prime members on Prime Music. All is Bright spans genres and it’s not all gcb-fan-friendly, but Beth Orton’s cover of “River” is amazing. I’m also a big fan of other classics like Lucinda Williams’ rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” Brandi Carlisle performing “O Holy Night” and PHOX covering “The Christmas Song.”
And lastly, folk pop trio The National Parks is supporting the United Way’s “Sub for Santa” efforts with a great original “It’s Christmas, And I Like You.” Great cause with a cool video below.
Merry Christmas, y’all.
UPDATED FOR 2014: a very grassy Christmas
DISCLOSURE NOTE: Amazon is my client at Weber Shandwick, but this post is my own and was not sponsored.