SoulCuts Advent Calendar – Day 9 – Al Green – That’s What Christmas Means to Me

10 12 2010

That’s What Christmas Means to Me is a fireside gem from the Rev Al Green. Just look at his mug on the cover of this Eighties album! I mean, that’s what Christmas means to ME! A chunky knit jumper (or sweater for our friends from across the pond) and a cheesy grin, Al’s the very embodiment of the season of goodwill. All that’s missing is a flaming Christmas pudding!

Holy sweet nativity, that’s what Christmas means to me!


SoulCuts Advent Calendar – Day 8 – The Whispers – This Time of the Year

8 12 2010

My favourite Christmas album of all time is Happy Holidays To You by the inimitable Whispers. Released in 1979, this is the soundtrack to Christmas each and every year chez Cuts. Many of the tracks we’re featuring as part of the SoulCuts Advent Calendar tend to be standout tracks on otherwise ordinary albums, however, Happy Holidays To You is that rare festive beast, a Christmas album without any leftovers, with an great mix of original and classic songs.

This Time of the Year is an original fireside anthem replete with those sweet Whispers harmonies. The lyrics are cheesy, cozy and heartfelt, encapsulating why many find Christmas so special. My favourites include, Momma’s oven, Is baking plenty lovin’ and The streets are all crowded, Trees seem to grow in houses. Genius!

Real soul fans know that The Whispers are one of the greatest vocal soul groups of all time and with Happy Holidays to You they provided possibly the finest soul Christmas album ever recorded. Don’t worry, we’ll be featuring a couple more killer cuts as the season progresses. Ho! Ho! Ho!

SoulCuts Advent Calendar Day 7 – Bootsy Collins – Be-With-You

7 12 2010

The world’s greatest funk bass player flips the script on his old hit, I’d Rather Be With You, with this cut culled from his 2006 Yuletide offering, Christmas Is 4 Ever. A tribute to funk master Roger Troutman, Be-With-You is a talkbox-fuelled sticky funk jam that’ll get even the tightest scrooge loosening up and nodding their head in appreciation.

Bootsy’s Christmas collection is definitely worthy of further investigation for those looking to funk up their Christmas. Grab a cup of egg-nog, tip in a little extra liquor, and feel the festive funk from your head to your toes and back up your bootsy, baby!. Ho! Ho! Ho!

SoulCuts Advent Calendar Day 6 – Another Wah Wah Christmas EP

6 12 2010

Ho! Ho! Ho! those lovely folks at Wah Wah have unleashed another assault on the festive songbook with this nice three track EP fresh out for Yuletide! Scrimshire’s take on Donny’s This Christmas ticks all the elaborately festooned seasonal boxes while the label’s first lady, Stac, comes through with a characteristically soulful performance on the stripped back, bluesy take on the Phil Spector / Darlene Love classic, Please Come Home. The EP rounds out with pianist Stephen McCleery’s superb melancholic, Keith Jarrett styled, take on the classic Christmas tune, We Three Kings. It’s an exceptional, moving version of the song that will be played chez SoulCuts throughout the entire season.

All proceeds from the EP will go to the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. And for two of your British pounds, this EP is undoubtedly the physical manifestation of the spirit of Christmas. Well done Wah Wah! (Again!) Click on the player above to buy a copy!

SoulCuts Advent Calendar Day 4 – Luther Vandross – This is Christmas

4 12 2010

What would Christmas be without a bit of Luther? His This is Christmas album from ’95 is jam packed with traditional Christmas fodder and some decent original cuts. We’ll be featuring further tracks from the album as the month continues, but today we just had to plump for the delightful title cut. This is Christmas is a traditional Luther deep gospel ballad, with Luther’s vocal performance up their with his very best (and that’s saying something, indeed!). It’s a modern Christmas classic, satisfyingly stamped with Luther’s usual class and charm. Ramp up the fire, fill your glasses, put some Luther on; This is Christmas!

SoulCuts Advent Calendar – Day 3 – Ledisi – Be There For Christmas

3 12 2010

We’re in love with Ledisi over at SoulCuts. We’ve been hooked ever since we first heard her Soulsinger album. Our infatuation was further confirmed at the Subterranea nearly ten years ago where she tore up the stage and made the usually reserved London crowd shake it like we were actually having fun.

A couple of years back, Ledisi unleashed her fabulous Christmas album, the imaginatively titled It’s Christmas, to rapturous applause. It’s another of those collections that seems to grow in stature which each year that passes. We’ve plumped for the energetic, Be There For Christmas. This cut is rapidly approaching classic status in our house. Mrs SoulCuts declares it to be one of her favourites, and she’s a lady that loves herself some Christmas music!

Be There For Christmas is a joyous R&B romp that’ll be sure to put you in the Christmas mood as the decorations go up this weekend. And don’t forget to get yourself a copy of the album. You know It’s Christmas when you put that CD on! Ho! Ho! Ho!

Pick up a copy of It’s Christmas at Amazon.

And here’s the tune that gave me the goosebumps at that gig all those years back, the immaculate Free Again!

SoulCuts Advent Calendar Day 2 – Rahsaan Patterson – Peace & Joy

2 12 2010

We all love Rahsaan Patterson, right? One of the finest advocates of progressive and timeless soul over the past fifteen years, Rahsaan has long been a firm favourite in the SoulCuts house. At Christmas time, Mrs SoulCuts and I love to throw on Rahsaan’s album, The Ultimate Gift, knock back some mulled cider and fall asleep mid-way through eating a block of his and hers chocolate. If you don’t already own a copy of Rahsaan’s Christmas album, then please go and gift it to yourself. Released in 2008, The Ultimate Gift is rapidly attaining the status of a classic, in my house at least. We’ll be featuring more cuts from this must-buy album over the month of December.

For those of you desperate for some new music from Rahsaan, look no further than the tune below. Easier Said Than Done is a funky-ass affair that sits right in the pocket of Rahsaan’s overall back-catalogue while subtly showing some nice progression. Culled from the upcoming album, Bleuphoria, Easier Said Than Done has definitely got that HEAT! Shout out to Brian Hurst of with his impeccable Hurst Selection for opening up our ears to the track back at the start of November. If you don’t already know, get on over to and delight in their vast array of high quality soul and jazz podcasts. Nothing but the good stuff!

Oh! And you can now download Rahsaan’s dope new single via iTunes. That’s easily done: click here!