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Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007

Sister Hazel

Santa's Playlist (Rock Ridge Music)

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December 06, 2007

Every year, it seems like the artists who are least likely to release a holiday record are the ones who do exactly that (Twisted Sister, anyone?). And now you can add veteran acoustic jangle-rockers Sister Hazel to that list.

Recorded while touring in support of 2006's Absolutely, Santa's Playlist finds the outfit taking plenty of liberties with traditional classics. "White Christmas" settles into a warm reggae groove and "The Dreidel Song" enjoys a bluegrass twist. "It's A New Year (Just Get Along"), a Sister Hazel original, makes a plea for peace in the band's signature style, but the ill-conceived "Christmas Time Again" sullies the band's good name with an atrocious Barry White-meets-Beastie Boys arrangement. And while gathering band members' kids to sing "There's Something in the Air (At Christmas)" must have seemed like a cute idea at the time, it's not now. Most of these songs, though, will hold up to repeat holiday spins.

Sister Hazel will perform at the Northern Lights Theater at Potawatomi Bingo Casino on Dec. 7.D