The Tall Pines’ “Christmas Morning Comin’ Down”
Not that I am a Scrooge or anything, but I avoid holiday music like the plague. My lone exceptions have been Winterbloom’s most wonderful “Traditions Rearranged” from 2009 and Nellie McKay’s lament, “A Christmas Dirge.”
But following Bob Dylan’s ill-conceived “Christmas in the Heart” those whom you would never expect to do Christmas albums have come out of the woodwork. Can you believe Annie Lennox?!
So, just when I thought it was safe to venture away from my limited exposure to holiday fare, along comes “Christmas Morning Comin’ Down” by the Tall Pines.
It all began last August, a young writer named Adam McGovern asked the Tall Pines why they didn’t have a Christmas song. When he began emailing verses of a hard luck holiday anthem to the band, members Connie Petruk and (seriously) Christmas Davis got so excited that they wrote a big ol’ country-soul chorus, and “Christmas Morning Comin’ Down” was the result.
The “Christmas Morning Comin’ Down” title may give rise to thoughts of Kristofferson’s “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down”, but it’s much closer in spirit to Bobby Bare’s “Detroit City” as it evokes strong feelings of both alienation and nostalgia of rural refugees in those canyons of steel.
Meredith Ochs for NPR All Songs Considered said it best: “With long straight hair falling over sky-high cheekbones and a penchant for floor-length dresses, lead singer Connie Petruk looks like she stepped out of late ’60s/early ’70s Nashville and sings like the lost sister of Bobbie Gentry or Dusty Springfield. “Her honeyed alto will melt the frost off your windshield, and the band’s confident backing matches her attitude flawlessly. The Tall Pines are equal parts soul and twang, molasses and moonshine, sass and skill.”
“Christmas Morning Comin’ Down” is available now through iTunes, where its featured in the Country Store’s New & Noteworthy Section. Connie has performed with David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Ronnie Spector, Joan Jett, and many others. A new EP is expected this February.
Catch their no-cover holiday party at Rockwood Stage 2 at 196 Allen Street, New York on Saturday night, December 19 beginning at 8 PM.