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For Olga, singing the Christmas blues is just the other side of the coin (MSM)

20 Dec 2012

written by My Spilt Milk

For Olga, singing the Christmas blues is just the other side of the coin (MSM)



Two Sides of the Same Coin

For Olga, singing the Christmas blues is just the other side of the coin. 

Originally posted on My Spilt Milk

by Alex Rawls

When asked about Christmas music, blues singer Olga is quick to enthuse about Kay Martin and Her Body Guards‘ “I Want a Casting Couch for Christmas,” a naughty Christmas song from the 1962 album, I Know What He Wants for Christmas … But I Don’t Know How to Wrap It. When it came time to record Christmas music, Olga’s choices were less risqué. On North Mississippi Christmas, her four-song EP available for download from iTunesAmazon and her own website, she performs smart, tasteful versions of Christmas carols, each adapted to the acoustic North Mississippi blues style. That proved to be the challenge.

“I was looking for lyrics that would be workable in a North Mississippi blues setting,” Olga says. “I’m not sure how I’d make ‘Hark, the Herald Angels Sing’ work. Blues phrasing is usually pretty straight ahead and there aren’t too many words. ‘Deck the Halls’ has a lot of words, so that was kind of amazing that that was able to get crammed into this really pretty song.”

She is not by nature a Christmas music person, she says, and recorded her tracks to provide an alternative to the forced jollity that is prevalent in so much Christmas music. “I thought it would be good to come up with version of Christmas songs for people like me, who want something different and don’t want to hear ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ a million times.” When she remembered that her friend Jessie Mae Hemphill had a recorded a Christmas song called “Merry Christmas, Pretty Baby,” she became more comfortable with the idea.

For the rest of the story see My Spilt Milk

North Mississippi Christmas is part of a gift package of holiday CDs that one lucky My Spilt Milk reader will win. The package will include The Eastern Sea’s First Christmas, The Polyphonic Spree’s Holidaydream, Holidays Rule, Tracey Thorn’s Tinsel and LightsA Charlie Brown Christmas and more. To enter to win, subscribe on the home page to “Condensed Milk,” My Spilt Milk’s weekly email newsletter. If you’re already a subscriber, you’re already entered. Contest closes December 20 at 7 p.m. CST.

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