Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
ELF (An Ensemble Of Lonesome Fellas) - Homeless For The Holidaysdotdotdotdot
artworkBoy howdy! Homeless For The Holidays is one original and amazing package. There are several styles here, all based around brass and organ and guitars in fuzz, surf, and lap steel configurations. I'm not one for horns, but this is brilliant and more fun than the law allows. A totally fresh sound for Christmas.

Jim Freeman's group play brilliantly. He is also a member of '63 Burnout.
Picks: The Stripper's Holiday, Santa's Big Fat Sock, Pipe De La Paz, Silver Bells, (You're A Mean One) Mr. Grinch, Tiffany Sequence m. 22, Santa Claus Is Shufflin' To Town, Out Of Presents, Carol Of The Tubular Bells, The Christmas Song, Ghosts Of Christmas Past, The Stripper Revisited

Track by Track Review


The Stripper's Holiday dotdotdot
Xmas Stripper (Instrumental)

Big and brassy like David Rose's Las Vegas grind original, this is fun and noisy and sultry in a sleazy kind of way.

"The Stripper's Holiday" is a medley of "The Stripper," "Silver Bells," "Silent Night," "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," "Frosty The Snowman," "Jingle Bells," "Holly Jolly Christmas,"and "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town."

Santa's Big Fat Sock dotdotdot
Xmas Soul (Instrumental)

"Santa's Big Fat Sock" aka "Fat Bag" is a pumping soulful groove in the Memphis groove. Totally fun, horn driven, and funky.

Pipe De La Paz dotdotdotdot
Xmas Surf (Instrumental)

This is quite something. Trumpet lead in an almost Herb Alpert kinda way, "Pipe De La Paz" is sultry and smooth, and a bit exotic. It's the Shadows' "Peace Pipe" all decked out in a wholly original way, with island slide and lots of layered sounds. very cool!

Silver Bells dotdotdotdot
Xmas Country (Instrumental)

With a country whine and horn section, "Silver Bells" slithers in a mighty swell way. This is very well arranged, with a grin and great lap steel in tow. Superb!

(You're A Mean One) Mr. Grinch dotdotdot
Xmas Brass (Instrumental)

Honkin' sax front a semi-stripper quasi-marching band slithering reinvention of "(You're A Mean One) Mr. Grinch." Slow, brash, and saucy.

Tiffany Sequence m. 22 dotdotdot
Xmas Lollita (Instrumental)

A "fa-la-la-la-la" chorus augment this bouncing soulful horn driven number not entirely unrelated to "Lollita Ya Ya." Inventive and pretty darn fun.

Santa Claus Is Shufflin' To Town dotdotdotdot
Las Vegas Xmas (Instrumental)

This is a soulful horn version of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" done as if a marching band was in mind, but only if they doubles as a strip house band in Las Vegas. Rockin' late-night groovy. Think Paul Shaffer!

Out Of Presents dotdotdotdotdot
Xmas Surf (Instrumental)

You don't expect what's to come. Cold wind howls and danger lurks as a lonely horn plays a sullen riff. Then, rising from the dungeon, a pummeling version of Mike Gordon's "Out Of Limits" takes off with great horns and squonkin' squeals. Totally original and completely cool!

Carol Of The Tubular Bells dotdotdotdotdot
Xmas Surf (Instrumental)

This is a brilliant pairing of "Carol Of The Bells" and "Tubular Bells Part I." Dramatic horns, big ambient power, pomp, and dark moodiness along with an ominous optimism. Amazing!

The Christmas Song dotdotdotdot
Xmas Slither (Instrumental)

Imagine if Santo & Johnny had written "The Christmas Song" when they were sleepwalking... yup, it's like that, but with horns and much more. Very cool!

Ghosts Of Christmas Past dotdotdotdotdot
Xmas Surf (Instrumental)

The drama of Peter Green's lines and Mick Fleetwood's sensual tribal drums perfectly slithers with the lap steel as "Albatross" unfolds. This elegant wash cross-fades into a brass and fuzz groove out of Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit In The Sky." The merger is an an absolutely brilliant alliance. Thom Beckman ('63 Burnout) adds his guitar to this track.

The Stripper Revisited dotdotdot
Xmas Brass (Instrumental)

A short return to the runway in a much more Las Vegas-like warble crisscrosses with "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town." Big, bold, and brassy.