Friday News and Notes: Holiday Music Edition


In recent years, I’ve made the mistake of waiting until the two or three days leading up to Christmas to start spinning holiday tunes, so I’ve been hitting it hard in the last week or so. John Fahey. John Denver (Toddler YHT’s choice: “I want the mountain one”). The Kingston Trio. Charlie Byrd. Here are a few web-based recommendations:

Too much good stuff, too few Christmases per year, y’all. One more thing: Don’t miss tonight’s No BS! Brass Band show at The Broadberry — it’s three things in one: A canned food drive, a beer release and, well, a No BS! show. Luray opens. Click here for tickets.


John Denver

In a few hours, I’ll hop in my Honda Fit, which is fitted with tires the size of roller skate wheels, and drive north, directly into this winter storm that people have been talking about for days. Basically what Dennis Quaid did in The Day After Tomorrow to rescue Jake Gyllenhaal. Why? Because this is America, and a little I-95 Slip ‘n Slide ain’t gonna stop me from spending Thanksgiving with Mrs. YHT and the merry band of Harrisburgers she calls her extended family.

Brandi… Emmylou… let’s do this.

Brandi Carlile & Emmylou Harris — “Country Roads” (John Denver cover) [Spotify/iTunes]

Toots & The Maytals

Toots sign

I snapped the picture above a little after 10:00 p.m. on Saturday night. A light rain was falling on Brown’s Island and Toots & The Maytals were a few minutes from performing their rendition of John Denver’s “Country Roads,” having already made their way through “Pressure Drop,” “Reggae Got Soul” and a handful of other classics. About 15 minutes later, when “Country Roads” was winding down, someone in the audience threw an empty liquor bottle at the stage, striking frontman Frederick “Toots” Hibbert in the forehead. He was immediately taken to the hospital, and guitarist Carl Harvey announced that the show was over. A few paralyzed minutes later, Mrs. YHT and I started a long and quiet walk back to our car.

There were so many things that I wanted to say then, and there are so many things I want to say now.

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