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Reverend Keith A. Gordon

Weekly Blues Music Report: Death Might Be Your Santa Claus

By December 4, 2012

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Death Might Be Your Santa ClausJust a little repositioning on the charts for the week ending December 8, 2012 as Joe Bonamassa's most recent studio album, Driving Towards The Daylight, inches back into the number three position and shoulders out his Beacon Theatre live set, which drops back a couple spaces. Hugh Laurie's Let Them Talk sits pretty with Christmas sales and, as I somewhat predicted last week, the Wynton Marsalis and Eric Clapton collaboration, Play The Blues, slides back into the Top Ten better than a year after its initial release (again, probably due to holiday sales to mainstream music fans).

This week's Top Ten includes an unusual newcomer, and this is a pretty cool story - Death Might Be Your Santa Claus is a limited-edition, numbered release from our friends at Legacy that was offered as a "Record Store Day" exclusive for independent music retailers for "Black Friday" sales the day after Thanksgiving. Available on both CD and vinyl LP, the album is a compilation of holiday-themed blues, jazz, and gospel music from the 1920s, '30s, and '40s featuring artists like Harmon Ray (a/k/a Peetie Wheatstraw), Tampa Red, John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson, Bessie Smith, Casey Bill Weldon, and others. The CD version includes two bonus tracks: Lightnin' Hopkins' "Santa" and Rev. J.M. Gates' "Hell Will Be Your Santa Claus."

To my knowledge, this is the first time we've had a limited indie store release hit the charts, which means that it was selling a few pancakes a week or so ago. Your local independent record store may still have a copy but, in the words of the immortal Mississippi Fred McDowell, "you got to move," 'cause these platters seem to be moving fast!

Here are this week's Billboard Top Ten blues albums, ranked by sales:

10. Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton - Play The Blues (Warner Brothers)
9. Robert Cray - Nothin But Love (Provogue Records)
8. Various Artists - Death Might Be Your Santa Claus (Legacy Recordings)
7. Tedeschi Trucks Band - Everybody's Talkin' (Sony Masterworks)
6. Hugh Laurie - Let Them Talk (Warner Brothers)
5. Joe Bonamassa - Beacon Theater: Live From New York (J&R Adventures)
4. Gary Clark, Jr. - The Bright Lights EP (Warner Brothers)
3. Joe Bonamassa - Driving Towards The Daylight (J&R Adventures)
2. Bonnie Raitt - Slipstream (Redwing Records)
1. Gary Clark, Jr. - Blak and Blu (Warner Brothers)

Photo courtesy Legacy Recordings


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