Review: “On The Holiday Highway” by The Christmas Jug Band
Ladies & gentlemen, get ready for well over an hour (73 minutes!) of jug-infused revelry. The incredible Christmas Jug Band made merry with prior holiday releases (Rhythm on the Roof and Uncorked); now here comes the CJB with its brand new, fresh-off-the-presses On the Holiday Highway, and it’s a hootin’, hollerin’ shot-in-the-pants. In fact, the very first track is appropriately Shoot ‘Em in the Pants, not exactly your traditional entree into a holiday album, but there you have it. A honky-tonkin’ romp that comes complete with the accordion, kazoo, slide whistles, and washboard! Just because these guys are having way too much fun, never mistake the shenanigans for poor musicianship. The CJB is talented every which way, and these live performances (recorded 2006-08) make it amply clear that their audiences recognize and greatly appreciate the CJB’s entertaining talents and free-spirited creativity. Count me on that list–I’m a believer!
On the Holiday Highway is crazy good; the songs are cross-genre wonders blending rockabilly, jazz, salsa, and the kitchen sink. Every track caught my attention; the CJB delivers innovative new compositions and perfect parodies, pumping holiday themes into old classics like “My Blue Heaven.” The ambiance is whimsical, bluesy, and perhaps a little boozy, and everything clicks with first-rate, folksy professionalism.
This music is fantastic and fun; my toes were tapping throughout. Bored of routine, done-to-death, Christmas music drivel? Crank up your audio system and give the CJB’s On the Holiday Highway a whirl. What a ride!
-Carol Swanson, ChristmasReviews.com