A goodtime set of holiday music
Reviewed December 2009
Jeff Cook Presents Christmas Joy
By Jeff Cook
To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing its Amazon.com entry.
Country supergroup Alabama may have called it quits a few years ago, but lead guitarist Jeff Cook soldiers on with his Allstar Goodtime Band and has a new holiday collection out.
Living up to the name of his current group, this really is a goodtime collection of music like the sort of album the late Jerry Reed might have put out. There's a sense of fun running throughout, and Cook sings with a smile. He even narrates the opening to a cover of The Big Bopper's "Rock and Roll Guitar," as well as the closing track, "My First Christmas in Heaven." Surf rock pioneers The Ventures sit in on the opening track (the title song), and fellow country singer Mitch Glenn joins in for "Reggae Santa," while Cook's wife, Lisa, atkes lead vocals on "Away in a Manger" and the old blues holiday standard, "Please Come Home for Christmas."
The production is polished, the playing first-rate, the Christmas cheer palpable: There isn't much not to like about this one.
Review by Jim Trageser. Jim is a writer and editor living in Escondido, Calif., and was a contributor to the "Grove Press Guide to Blues on CD" (1993) and "The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Blues" (2005).