Some Christmas swing and the Crooked Jades on Viking Twang!
Written by Randy Black on December 22, 2016
Viking Twang Show 112, December 21, 2016
Good morning, welcome to Viking Twang Episode 112. My name’s Randy Black; nice to have you all here today.
You’ve just heard what is becoming our traditional Christmas opening song, Louis Armstrong’s ‘Zat You, Santa Claus? We’re going to have a full set of great swing Christmas songs. Then, we’ll have a long second set by one of my favorite bands, San Francisco’s Crooked Jades. We’ll start with, of all people, Bob Dylan!
1 – ‘Zat You, Santa Claus? Louis Armstrong and the Commanders. Louis’ big band recorded this in 1953.
2 – Turkey Red; W.C. Beck & the Portland Country Underground.
3 – Must Be Santa; Bob Dylan. This is from Dylan’s 2009 album, Christmas In The Heart, a record of Christmas songs to benefit Feeding America.
4 – Boogie Woogie Santa Claus; Mabel Scott. The killer backing band is Les Welch and his Orchestra; this is from 1948.
5 – I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm; Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. That’s a 1937 Irving Berlin song that Ella and Louis recorded in 1957.
6 — Merry Christmas, Baby; Lionel Hampton and Sonny Parker. Lionel and Sonny recorded that in 1950 as the B side of their version of Boogie Woogie Santa Claus for a Christmas single.
7 – Christmas Morning; Lyle Lovett. From Lyle’s 1996 album, Road to Ensenada.
The Crooked Jades was a phenomenal San Francisco-based band that always brought high-energy, thoughtful old-timey bluegrass. It was a big conglomeration of musicians, with many people moving into and out of the band over the years, or making special appearances. At the core were Jeff Kazor, Lisa Berman, and Tom Lucas.
8 – Visits; Jeff and Lisa trade vocals with Lisa joined on fiddle by Dan Lynn; from their 1998 debut, Going to the Races.
9 – Unfortunate Rake; This has traditional lyrics from an old English style Rake Ballad, with Jeff setting it to music. Lisa plays the Hawaiian slide, with Tom on the organ. It’s from their fourth album, 2003’s The Unfortunate Rake Vol. 2.
10 – Old Joe; From a performance in the 2003 Pickathon, with Stephanie Prausnitz on fiddle, Lisa on banjo, Tom on the four-string minstrel banjo, and Dave Bamberger on bass.
11-Gonna Write Me A Letter; From 2000’s The Unfortunate Rake Vol. 1; an Ola Belle Reed song with Lisa on vocals and banjo. Adam Tanner joins Tom on the twin fiddles.
12 — Sea Lion Woman; A tune from the Georgia Sea Islands, led by Jeff and Lisa.
13 – Carrier Bird; This is from a 2004 EP just titled The Crooked Jades, recorded live in San Francisco. The singer is Jennie Benford, formerly of the Pennsylvania band Jim and Jennie and the Pinetops.
14 – Indian War Whoop; From the 2005 Pickathon in Pudding River; That’s Adam Tanner on the fiddle along with Jeff, Jennie Benford on mandolin, Erik Pearson on banjo uke, and Megan Adie on bass.
15 – Mystery Train; The old blues song, with Lisa Berman and Martha Hawthorne on vocals and Lisa on dobro, It’s from the 2000 documentary Seven Sisters: A Kentucky Portrait, about a group of sisters growing up in Kentucky during the Depression.
16 – Gabriel (World’s On Fire); From the self-titled 2004 EP, with Megan Adie on vocals and Erik Pearson on slide guitar.
17 – Lonely Grave; That’s Lisa on the guitar singing with Martha.
18 – Daybreak in Dixie; the Countrypolitans.