Nick Lowe’s New Christmas CD

Nick Lowe, probably best known for “Cruel To Be Kind,” has released a Christmas CD (Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection For All The Family).

Quality Street, named after a yuletide English confectionery, holds a dozen new recordings, including traditional songs, covers of tunes by Roger Miller and Wizzard and a Ron Sexsmith track composed specifically for the album. Ry Cooder co-wrote one of three Lowe originals.

Lowe produced the album with Neil Brockbank and Robert Treherne and recorded in London with his backing band: keyboardist Geraint Watkins, guitarist Johnny Scott, bassist Matt Radford and drummer Treherne.

“We tried to make it a sleighbell-free zone,” Lowe says in a media release.

The results include a version of Silent Night shaded by New Orleans, a retooling of I Was Born in Bethlehem imprinted by Johnny Cash and a rockabilly-propelled Children Go Where I Send Thee.

Admittedly, it took a few listens before it started to grow on me. It’s very good but quite possibly not everyone’s cup of tea.

Featuring A Dollar Short Of Happy (it’s the Lowe/Cooder tune) — it’s cleverly interspersed with Silver Bells and Mel Torme’s “The Christmas Song. And then “Children Go Where I Send Thee (which features Lowe sounding much like he did in his heyday).

A Dollar Short Of Happy

Children Go Where I Send Thee

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