The Black Cadillacs - "I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day"

The Black Cadillacs' rendition of "I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day" is one of my favorite Christmas songs of all time. The song's lamenting of hatred and evil in the world with the turn toward hope for peace at the end seems extra relevant this year.  (Edit: This post was originally written in 2015, but is doubly true in 2016.) ((EDIT of the EDIT: Everything about this is true times a thousand for 2017.))

"I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day" is a Christmas carol based on a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Longfellow's "Christmas Bells" was written during the American Civil War after his eldest son was severely wounded in battle. 

And in despair I bowed my head; 
    "There is no peace on earth," I said; 
        "For hate is strong, 
        And mocks the song
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

    Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: 
    "God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; 
        The Wrong shall fail, 
        The Right prevail, 
    With peace on earth, good-will to men."

As far as Christmas songs go, "I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day" has not been covered that often. Although, there are some notable artists who have recorded versions of the song including Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, and more recently The Civil Wars. No other version strikes me quite like this one by The Black Cadillacs, and I love getting the opportunity to share it with people every year around this time. 

Chance The Rapper And Jeremih Dropped A Christmas Mixtape!

Featuring comedian Hannibal Buress on track one

UPDATE: Chance and Jeremih have released a whole new collection of songs that make up side two of the already established mix-tape. They're calling the ten new songs Merry Christmas Lil' Mama *Re-Wrapped. Yes, Hannibal Burris returns on this one. You can download both sides for free by clicking here

This is a full blown four-alarm holiday emergency here! Chance The Rapper and Jeremih came down all our chimneys and slipped a super special Christmas mixtape in our stockings. This mixtape comes fresh off of Chance's spectacularly Christmasy SNL performance. 

Merry Christmas Lil' Mama was released overnight via Soundcloud with a link posted from Jeremih's Instagram.  

Merry Christmas Lil MaMa

A photo posted by Thumpy Johnson (@jeremih) on

So warm up the wassail. We got a certified holiday banger here!

Night Colors Light Up The Christmas Season With A Cover Of "Last Christmas" by Wham!

Another one! It seems like every day a Knoxville band puts out a quality Christmas cover. Night Colors is the latest band to come in and brighten up the season with a holiday release. 

Night Colors released a live in-studio video of their cover of "Last Christmas" by Wham!. The video has some players folks may recognize from other projects like Travis Bigwood (Sweet Years and Guy Marshall) on bass, Will Carter on guitar, and Asher Coker (Cerulia) on drums. 

This cover features excellent harmonies from Night Colors' Hannah and Elijah Cruise, an up-tempo beat, and a guitar interlude soloing of the melody to "Sleigh Ride." The song was produced by Will Carter, and the video was filmed at Eleanor Studios and directed by Neil Irvin. 

Here's a fun fact about this song: "Last Christmas" has surpassed Wham!'s most popular non-Spotify song "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" in terms of total plays on Spotify.