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Various Artists

There's Trouble Brewin' - 16 Serious Rockin' Crackers for your Christmas Hop (green vinyl)

Review by Gary Hill

Bear Family is such a class act. They put out a lot of great retro releases. This new Christmas album is a perfect example. Not only does it contain some solid old-time rock and roll songs, but it's put in an exceptional package. First the record itself is cool green vinyl. If that weren't enough, this comes with a cool oversized holiday post card. This is the kind of thing that earns (and did) one of our bonus videos.

That Music Street Journal bonus video for this release is located on Youtube at:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5ivT70RPeI.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 6. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

Track by Track Review
Side A
                    
Three Aces and A Joker - Sleigh Bell Rock

I dig the beat on this song a lot. It's a classy old-time rock and roller with plenty of Christmas in the lyrics. It's just a fun romp.

The Moods - Rockin' Santa Claus
I love the fire and groove on this number. The saxophone adds some magic, and the whole tune swings with style and charm.
The Moonglows - Hey Santa Claus
With some doo-wop vocals, this has a swinging rock and roll groove. The saxophone wails with style and charm, and the whole thing really screams.
Big Bud - Rock Around The Christmas Tree
While not a big change, this is another potent rock and roll Christmas tune.
Chuck Berry - Run, Rudolph, Run
Chuck Berry was one of the best of his time, and this rock and roll holiday tune is one of the best songs here. It's classic Berry and so much fun.
Allan and The Flames - Winter Wonderland
With some surf guitar and wailing saxophone, this rock and roll instrumental has a cool sound and groove to it.
Johnny Cash - It Was Jesus
This is trademark Johnny Cash. It's a solid tune.
Earney Vandergriff - Be-Bop Santa Claus
Stripped back vintage rock and roll, this feels just a little like Chuck Berry. It's another fun holiday number.
Side B
                  
Jack Scott - There's Trouble Brewin'

I'm reminded to a large degree of Elvis Presley on this up-tempo rocker. It's a fun song. The jam with wailing sax and fiery guitar is so strong.

Tommy Lee & The Orbits - Jingle Rock
I love the rhythm section on this. The tune is another fun Christmas rocker.
Charlie Starr - Christmas Twist
If you've heard "The Twist" you have a pretty good idea of what this sounds like. It's a solid tune, but I keep thinking I should be hearing Chubby Checker. I love the merging of Christmas music and rock and roll on the guitar solo.
Cordell Jackson - Rock And Roll Christmas
This isn't any kind of big surprise. Instead, it's another competent holiday rocker.
Billy Briggs - North Pole Boogie
A bit of a change, this is an intriguing number. It's definitely hillbilly in nature, but it also has some jazz in the mix. It's a fun rocker with a bit of a spooky edge to it. I'd consider it a highlight of the set.
The Davis Sisters - The Christmas Boogie
With a lot of country music built into it, this is a fun number.
Little Joey Farr - Rock'n Roll Santa
This is like little kid rock and roll. Well, that's because of the vocals. The music is pure rock and roll music, with no child-like aspect to it. It's energetic and fun, but a bit of a novelty record. 
Chuck Blevins - Sleighbell Rock
Another fun holiday rocker, this has some smoking hot saxophone soloing in the mix.
 
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