A Blackwatch Christmas Vol. II sports some of the biggest local artists yet, with Stardeath and White Dwarfs, Graham Colton and more onboard. The former’s “Santa’s Magic Beard” is gentler than you might expect; well-crafted and tightly arranged, it has all the makings of a holiday classic. Colton’s “Holiday Season” is also a bit of a departure from his normal repertoire — a dynamic, heart-tugging anthem.
Other local favorites offer equally formidable tracks. Mike Hosty Duo brings a little honky-tonk to “Christmas Time”; Shitty/Awesome cranks up the distortion on “Saturnalia”; Hector Comacho goes full-on early ’90s R&B with “Squeezin’ Them Presents”; and Jacob Abello reimagines “Mary Did You Know” as a club banger.
However, the real standouts are Parker Millsap’s downright vicious cover of “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” his crackling falsetto pouncing over a good ol’ bluegrass swing line, and Brine Webb’s “The Good List,” an impossibly infectious original that has all the charm of a Christmas Eve family sing-along.
The true test of a good Christmas album is the ability to stand the test of time, and this should do just that.
Hey! Read This:
• A Blackwatch Christmas album review
• Brine Webb interview
• Graham Colton interview
• Jacob Abello interview
• Parker Millsap and Michael Rose’s Palisade album review
• Stardeath and White Dwarfs interview