In the hands of the bearded rocker, the Christmas classic takes on a new and distinctive swagger. Gibbons delivers the beloved carol in his uniquely grizzled tones, while also augmenting the original lyrics with his own words, including lines about “bells on hot rods” and a “drop top sled.”
“We threw in some hot rod references for good measure because our preferred sleigh is the horsepower-propelled kind,” the rocker admitted.
“Around Christmas, it always seems that there are five to ten holiday selections listed in the lower right corner of a typical juke box in a typical juke joint, the song titles and artist names printed on wreath-bedecked title strips,” Gibbons continued. “Our hope is for ‘Jingle Bell Blues’ to be one of those records.”
The rock icon further noted that the single will add his name to an illustrious list of artists who’ve recorded holiday tunes.
“Bing Crosby, David Bowie, Elvis, Brenda Lee, Jose Feliciano, Otis Redding, Mariah Carey, Nat King Cole, Gene Autry, and not forgetting Adam Sandler, need some company and we’d be thrilled to provide it in the spirit of the season,” the ZZ Top guitarist said.
“Jingle Bell Blues” is available for digital download or as a translucent red vinyl 7″ single. The latter product can be preordered now, with shipping expected in December.
Earlier this year, Gibbons released Hardware, his third solo studio album. Former Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver member Matt Sorum served as the LPs co-producer, while also drumming on the tracks.
Credits: UCR – Classic Rock & Culture
British progressive rock band Jethro Tull have announced new album, The Zealot Gene, the group’s first studio album in over 18 years. The Zealot Gene will drop on January 28, 2022, via InsideOut Music. As a preview, the band shared the first single from the album, titled “Shoshana Sleeping,” accompanied by a visual directed by Thomas Hicks.
“While I have a spot of genuine fondness for the pomp and fairytale storytelling of the Holy Book, I still feel the need to question and draw sometimes unholy parallels from the text. The good, the bad, and the downright ugly rear their heads throughout, but are punctuated with elements of love, respect, and tenderness,” frontman Ian Anderson said about the album.
The Zealot Gene will be available in both CD and vinyl formats. An exclusive art book will also be released, along with a second CD of demos and initial ideas, plus extended liner notes and an interview with Anderson.
The Zealot Gene track listing:
The rendition brings to mind the movie School of Rock, the 2003 comedy in which Black, an actor and a musician, portrays a substitute teacher who instructs grade-schoolers in the ways of rock music. However, the pupils at Blue Bear — dubbed the “original school of rock” by Black — are all in their teens. Together with the screen star and Tenacious D member, the young rockers gave the 1972 Ziggy Stardust–era single a run for its money.
Black says, “A good friend of mine (Paul Cummins) told me about Blue Bear and the incredible work they’ve been doing. I jumped at the chance to celebrate their 50th anniversary by jamming some Bowie with their teen all-star band. So fun. What an honor. They’ve been teaching kids to rock since 1971! I love Blue Bear…the original school of rock!!!”
‘Lindisfarne’s Geordie Genius – The Alan Hull Story’ also includes contributions from fellow admirers such as Peter Gabriel, Elvis Costello, and Dave Stewart.
A new BBC documentary about the late Alan Hull, frontman and songwriter of much-loved British folk-rock pacesetters Lindisfarne, will be broadcast by BBC4 on November 26, with contributions from Mark Knopfler, Sting, and many others.
Lindisfarne’s Geordie Genius – The Alan Hull Story is presented by the current, chart-topping Geordie from the same north-east region of England as Hull, Sam Fender. It includes memories from his fellow stars of north-eastern roots, Knopfler, Sting, and Dave Stewart, as well as other admirers such as Peter Gabriel and Elvis Costello. In 2020, Fender released his version of Hull’s heart-rending “Winter Song” in aid of street newspaper The Big Issue
The film recently had a premiere at the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where Hull was born in the Benwell region and co-founded Lindisfarne in 1968. They went on to huge popularity with their unique sound, which merged rock influences with traditional acoustic instrumentation such as mandolins, banjos, and violins.
The band had major UK success in the early 1970s including a No.1 album with 1971’s Fog on the Tyne, and fondly-remembered Top 10 hit singles including Hull’s “Lady Eleanor” and bandmate Rod Clements’ composition” Meet Me on the Corner.” The band reunited for 1978’s Back and Fourth album, which included a further Top 10 single in “Run For Home.”
Hull’s solo work was also widely admired, including on the 1970s albums Pipedream and Squire. Alongside later work in his own name, he performed with Lindisfarne until his untimely death, of a heart attack at the age at 50, in 1995. Clements continues to lead a latter-day version of the group.
The new documentary is a revealing and affectionate look at an often-underrated troubadour. It was directed by Ged Clarke for the Leeds-based Daisybeck Studios, chaired by Malcolm Gerrie, whose many TV music production credits include the storied 1980s series The Tube. The company made the film for BBC Music with the support of Northern Film & Media.
As reported by culturednortheast.co.uk, Gerrie described Hull at the recent screening as “an unsung hero of British song writing,” who “turned the page in contemporary music, without any question.” In the film, Sting, who as a young music fan first saw Hull play solo even before Lindisfarne’s formation, describes him as “unique…world-class…our Bob Dylan.”
Credits: Paul Sexton / Udiscovermusic.com