Revvin’ Up the Reindeer
On his ninth family music album, Brady Rymer turns his attention, versatility and originality to holiday tunes. With its chiming guitars and squalling sax, “Revvin’ Up The Reindeer” is a hat tip to Bruce Springsteen. “Holiday Jam” bops to a Bim Skala Bim-style Ska beat and in “It’s Christmastime,” a folky song of gratitude for the season, Rymer sounds remarkably like Mike Scott of The Waterboys. “Hanukkah Rocks” somehow manages to fuse a Bob Seeger-style rocker with a Vince Guaraldi-inspired break. Bo Diddley is evoked on “Untanglin’ the Christmas Lights,” and “Rainbow Candles” captures the magic of lighting Hanukkah candles. “New Accordions” is a letter from the band to Santa for refurbished instruments, and ragtime rhythms, muted trumpet and tack piano bring in the “Baby New Year.” In a rare quiet moment, the Nativity story is recounted in the lyrical and gentle “Christmas Peace.” Child-like anticipation is evident in the rollicking “Can’t Stand Still,” while “Christmas Wishes” comingles the melody of Disney’s seven dwarves song “Heigh-Ho” with the rhyme scheme of Dylan’s “Forever Young,” as sung on the Jersey shore. The album closes with “Peace Be to All” which borrows from The Everly Brothers’ “Let It Be Me” to summon warm holiday cheer. Rymer is backed by his fantastically elastic Little Band That Could, including Claudia Mussen’s accordion and vocals, Liz Queler on mandolin and vocals, keyboard wizard Seth Farber, bassist Jeremy Chatzky, Larry Eagle’s drums, and Dan Myers’ superbly Clemmons-esque saxophones.
Lahri Bond ©2018 Parents’ Choice
Lahri Bond is a father, a writer, music historian and an art professor in Western Massachusetts. His published books include Spinning Tales Weaving Hope (with the Stories For World Change Network) for New Society Press and People of the Earth (coauthored with Ellen Evert Hopman) for Destiny Books.