Various Artists - Merry Luxmas- It’s Christmas Campsville [Righteous Records/ Cherry Red - 2019]Merry Luxmas- It’s Christmas Campsville is the next in the series of compilations culled the basement grates of Lux & Ivy of The Cramps. And as it’s title suggests this time around we are focusing in on the more festive side of things- with the thirty-one track CD moving between Reindeer focused doo-wop, bizarre & grating child-led ditties, stark blues-themed around having no presents & family pet sound led renditions of classic Christmas songs- so it’s certainly another fun, quirky and at times bizarre trip back to ’50s & ’60s.
Once again as with the other releases in the series, this appears on Righteous Records- part of the Cherry Red family. The CD is presented in clear jewel case, and we get an eight-page inlay booklet, this takes in a four-page write up about the comp from Mojo magazines Dave Henderson, as well as tracklisting featuring original release dates & a few reproduced 45 labels.
The thirty-one track comp slides in at seventy-seven-minute mark- and as you’d expect it’s mostly very buoyant, joyful and bright in its feel….though along the way there are some great moments of quirky-ness & WTH to make sure this doesn't just become another Christmas song compilation. We go from jive-talking meets finger-snapping festive jazz of “Yulesvillie” by Edward ‘Kookie’ Byrnes. Onto the jaunting & amusing obnoxious-ness of “I Want Hippopotamus For Christmas” by Gayal Peevey with its sing-song smoky little girl vocals and marching horn work joy ness. Or the Cat and dog meow and barked rendition of “O Christmas Tree” by Spike Jones and His City Slickers. But it’s not all fun & brightness- we do have the down and less fun sides of the festive period covered- take “In Jail For Christmas” By The Youngsters- this is a swinging 'n' woozy piano-led rock ‘n’ roll tune about drink driving, and get it slung behind bars for the big day. Or there’s crude ‘n’ snapping blues of Washboard Pete’s “Christmas Blues”- focusing on having no money. So while the releases seventy seven-minute runtime can tend to be a little samey/ similar in its mood, thematically- this can’t be helped- so hang in there and something interesting bizzare will come along fair soon.
It’s great to Righteous carrying on with this series of releases- and this one once again has some great nuggets of quirkiness- so if you fancy a slightly different twist on the whole clichéd Christmas compilation this more than fits the role…here’s looking forward to seeing what they do next theme for this comp series, maybe a love focused collection for valentine's day?Roger Batty