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In The Christmas Groove
Various Artists
Catalogue Number
Release Date
24 November 2009

The golden era of ‘60s and ‘70s soul music boasts a great tradition for Christmas songs and, following in the footsteps of classic Christmas albums from the Motown stable and James Brown, Strut enter the festive spirit this November with the first ever Yuletide compilation on the label, IN THE CHRISTMAS GROOVE, bringing together 12 rare soul, funk and blues cuts rediscovered from Christmases past. Featuring tracks often only ever released as obscure 45 B-sides, the compilation tracks one-off moments when the good groove met the jingle bells to devastating effect. Artists include bluesman Jimmy Reed, jamming hard on ‘Christmas Present Blues’ and Calypsonian Capt. Elmo McKenzie with a lilting Yuletide Caribbean ode on Barbados label Trex. UK-based session collective Zebra weigh in with a festive slice of gritty Afro-rock and kids choir Harlem Children’s Chorus’ paint a poignant picture of ‘Black Christmas’ in the ghetto. We also include some useful covers of Christmas favourites. Late, lamented New Orleans Godfather Eddie Bo produces Isaac Clarke on a solid version of ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’ for his Seven B label and The Black On White Affair out of Seattle rock out on an amazing re-work of ‘Auld Lang Syne’. All in all, an essential diggers’ grab bag for the festive season and a refreshing alternative to the traditional Christmas fare. Early reaction from Lapland is encouraging: “Sinatra and Jim Reeves are certainly legends but the same songs each Christmas are driving me and Rudolph a bit potty, quite frankly,” explains Santa Claus. “This is the sh*t I want in my sleigh!” IN THE CHRISTMAS GROOVE is released on CD and digital on November 23rd and features an extensive booklet including original sleeve artwork and sleeve notes by James Maycock of Mojo magazine.

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  1. 1 Christmas Present Blues 2:31 Jimmy Reed Buy
  2. 2 Funky Funky Christmas 3:05 Electric Jungle Buy
  3. 3 Soul Santa 3:17 Funk Machine Buy
  4. 4 Getting Down For Xmas 3:31 Milly Buy
  5. 5 Black Christmas 2:30 The Harlem Children’s Chorus Buy
  6. 6 Angel's Christmas 2:45 Wild Honey Buy
  7. 7 Home On Christmas Day 2:49 Captain Elmo McKenzie Buy
  8. 8 Santa's Got A Bag Of Soul 3:17 Soul Saints Orchestra Buy
  9. 9 Boogaloo Santa Claus 4:22 J.D. McDonald Buy
  10. 10 Christmas Morning 4:36 Zebra Buy
  11. 11 Let's Get It Together This Christmas 2:32 Harvey Averne Band Buy
  12. 12 The New Year 3:10 Jimmy Jules Buy
  13. 13 Auld Lang Syne 3:59 The Black On White Affair Buy
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