Those Nashville Country Cowboys are back at it once again, as members of Kansas Bible Company and Okey Dokey for their fourth consecutive Yuletide track in as many years to help anyone and everyone slide into the creepy country folk-gaze (is that a thing?) Christmas spirit with 2016’s iteration, “Blue Christmas.’
Individually, Okey Dokey and Kansas Bible Co. may not necessarily be the most immediate choice of pairings to call upon to make a Christmas single – or maybe they are, and I’m close minded – either way you spin it, the outcome is a damn good Christmas song.
Recorded at Handmade Studios, the track opens with what might be described as a familial demon asking something about kids (a bit of a reach on my part), before dropping right into the spacey warbles of Okey Dokey singer Aaron Martin and guitarist Johny Fisher providing the familiar gaze wave guitar.
Certainly a departure from the Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson version popularized by Elvis the Pelvis, Nashville Country Cowboys’ “Blue Christmas” runs the gamut of what’s become popularized as the Nashville sound – garage psych (Okey Dokey) meets country Western (Kansas Bible Co.) – as that demonic voice of damnation sneaks in between the hand off of the first verse from Okey Dokey to the seven-piece spaghetti Western rock orchestra that is Kansas Bible Company, who take the track out of the haze of psych soul and send it to the Southwest. A cacophony of horns and gang vocals send the song into a massive decrescendo of sleazy Christmas spirit, fading out with little more than a single strum.
Whether you’re one for Christmas songs or not, them Nashville Country Cowboys have managed to out do themselves this round, as their rendition of The King’s “Blue Christmas” would even put that hip shaking, jumpsuit sporting, gun toting man’s version to shame.