Back Door Santa - B. B. King
Well, we've had a reggae Christmas song, a soul one and a jazz one. (See last three posts). So it's time for a seasonal blues number, and who better to turn to than the original "slowhand", B. B. King?
"Back Door Santa" was written and originally released in 1968 by the excellent soul singer Clarence Carter whose version, recorded with the "Swampers" at the legendary Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, is as good as it gets.
But King's version, recorded 33 years later a mere 500 miles to the south west in Lafayette, Louisiana, is even better: deeper and bluesier and raunchier than Carter's, it's faster paced and more danceable and on top of all that has King's peerless guitar playing.
King sounds so laid back that the song's innuendos come across as witty but real, whereas Carter's effort to squeeze in a little more feeling makes him sound a touch sweaty and desperate. King, 76 years old when he recorded this, is cool, wry and relaxed, and when it comes to feeling, he lets his guitar talk for him.
And it reminds me of my favourite Christmas cracker joke: Why doesn't Santa Claus have any children?
"I ain't like old Saint Nick-
he don't come but once a year"
..and then it's down the chimney!