Christmas with Karling
White Trash Records
Karling, aka Karling Abbeygate, is the subject of our Locals Only column this week, so it's only right to talk about the album itself that she's just released. Frankly, if more Christmas albums had kicking originals like "Christmas Party" and sprightly takes on traditionals like "Auld Lang Syne" on them, we'd be a little less Scrooge-like.
Abbeygate's style and singing is firmly placed in that mid-20th-century place where Patsy Cline is alive and kicking, rockabilly and rock and roll are still near synonymous and Eartha Kitt and Peggy Lee are heating up both the airwaves and more than a few back seats. Mixing originals as well as covers is a perfect touch, and songs like "Honey's Coming Home for Xmas," "Santa's Got a Crush on Me" and especially opener "What's in the Box," where a little of her British background slyly creeps out in her delivery, should get at least a little more attention out there amid the familiar standards.
Moments like the guitar sting opening "Deck the Halls" and her transforming of "The First Noel" into an easy groove that Los Lobos would be proud of show that Abbeygate's band are no slouches. "Jingle Bells" might be the killer of the carols, all rollicking guitar twang, piano and quick shuffle, Abbeygate making it all seem like the sassiest ride around. It probably would be as well -- which is what makes the gentle performance of "Silent Night" all the more fun, a little nod to seasonal seriousness that doesn't hammer it home.
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Christmas With Karling can be purchased via CDBaby.