Stray Cats / Brian Setzer Orchestra: Rock This Town

I love Brian Setzer‘s spirit, energy, guitar work, and his brilliance in merging rockabilly with big band sounds, this is a taste of it. If you only have about 90 seconds or so, you can skip to the 3:30 mark and get a sense of what this is all about:

I finally got a chance to see the Brian Setzer Orchestra for their Christmas 2018 tour, and loved it so much I got 2019 tickets as soon as they were available, I had AWESOME seats.  But unfortunately the tour was cancelled – Brian was diagnosed with severe tinnitus. Hopefully he’ll recover – the original Stray Cats are just now releasing a new album so that’s a good sign. There’s no tour that I know of, but this is the age of COVID-19 and we’re still in the midst of the pandemic, so I wouldn’t expect one.  In the meantime, you can enjoy that video and many others – look for the Brian Setzer Orchestra, especially from their Christmas tours.

“What Child Is This” – Martina McBride and Michael W. Smith

From the 2015 Country Music Association (CMA) Country Music Awards show, featuring Martina McBride and Michael W. Smith.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Updated 12/26/2021: I updated the link to replace the original that had gone dead – it was here: https://www.youtube.com/embed/GKvMq1N59HQ.

For “Old Christmas”: Carrie Underwood and “How Great Thou Art”

Today is January 6, which is “Old Christmas” in many parts of the world.  In Ireland, January 6 is observed as “Little Christmas“. The Feast of Epiphany may or may not be January 6 – it depends.  But the tradition of “Old Christmas” is always observed on January 6.

January 6 is also the day my grandfather passed away, twenty-seven years ago today, a day I’ll never forget.  He was born in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on December 25 – Christmas Day – and at his funeral, I heard some of the folks there in South Carolina remark that he was born on “New Christmas” and passed away on “Old Christmas”.

My grandfather was James Demery, and he was a great man.  And he played electric guitar a lot like Vince Gill plays in this video, a fact I didn’t know for years, even after I’d picked up the guitar myself at ten years old.  And whenever i think of gospel music like this – which I love – I often think of my grandfather.

I don’t generally post on Sunday, but this isn’t just any Sunday, not to me. So for today, here’s a unique video. This is perhaps the best performance of one of the greatest hymns ever – Carrie Underwood singing “How Great Thou Art”, with Vince Gill on guitar.

For more about Old Christmas, see: