REVEREND HORTON HEAT: We Three Kings: CD

Our favorite Reverend deftly rubs out thirteen neo-traditional arrangements of Christmas classics (and one original), outranking Brian Setzer Orchestra’s production by several stars. “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” and the Batman theme song rendezvous into an oddly comforting track; holiday nostalgia overwhelms all in “Silver Bells” and “Pretty Paper” with a resonant steel pedal guitar and accordion, respectively; a wink invites a smile on “Santa Bring My Baby Back”; and instrumental versions of “We Three Kings” and “What Child Is This” chug along like a lonesome train traversing the vast west. A Jerry Lee Lewis and Charlie Rich styled roadhouse version “Winter Wonderland” and a Chuck Berry flavored “Run Rudolph Run” should become new standards. Expertly delivered spaghetti western, country, rockabilly, psychobilly, and a whole lotta love will have you cozied up by the lodge fire with a flask of peppermint schnapps, spreading your buzzed holiday glow all around.

 –RumbleStripper (Yep Roc)