Black Music Matters Festival

Tracy Lawrence

All Wrapped Up In Christmas – 2007 (Rocky Comfort)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

CDs by Tracy Lawrence

Although there's no lack of country Christmas CDs, it's hard to find many strictly country Christmas songs. That makes "Cold Beer" on Tracy Lawrence's first ever Christmas CD something a little special. It says, in part: "I'll sit at this bar with my good friends/And we'll all toast Christmas cheer...with cold beer." It is doubtful many country folk roast chestnuts December 25, let alone do so on an open fire, but they no doubt pop tops like a Budweiser percussion orchestra.

This disc's title track is also new, as it complains about all the busyness of Christmas. "Ain't got time to watch a football game," Lawrence whines over a swinging melody, "We gotta listen to Bing and Elvis sing." As you might expect from an album that includes a song praising cool brew, this is not particularly sacred. Along the way, Lawrence also extols Frosty, Santa Claus and winter wonderlands in general. Lawrence, who produced with Julian King, keeps these arrangements light and traditionally country, which is refreshing - just like a cool one to break the hustle and bustle of the season.