Even Santa Gets the Blues

Blues fans of the more obscure would do well to dig up this overlooked collection of classics featuring such stalwarts as B.B. King, Charles Brown, Johnny Winter, and Lowell Fulson to lesser knowns such as Hadda Brooks and Jesse Belvin. Brooks’s striking voice appears on four cuts here, including a memorable “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and her own song, “L.A. Christmas Blue,” a lonely, jazzy number sparsely played on guitar and piano. Nice. The redoubtable Isaac Hayes weighs in with his own “Only If You Were Here” and “So Glad You Were Born,” two big-production numbers that underscore Hayes’s big, baritone voice. –Martin Keller

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