By Richard Milne

One of Chicago’s finest players turns his array of guitars to the sounds of Christmas and the results are delightful. Everything on Joel Paterson‘s Hi-Fi Christmas Guitar is a familiar Holiday nugget from the golden age of Christmas music (1930’s-1960’s); there’s no take on “Christmas Wrapping” or “Christmas in Hollis” here. How he was able to apply classic style and tone to beauties like “I’ll be Home for Christmas”, “White Christmas” and even Vince Guaraldi’s “Christmas Time is Here” all the while breathing new life and groove to the tracks is something I look forward to discussing with Mr. Paterson on Local Anesthetic this Sunday night at 10:30. For my money, Joel is aces on the fret board. Whether it’s his work with The Modern Sounds, Devil in a Woodpile, the Western Elstons, his own Organ Trio, or guesting with the Cashbox Kings, the man wails. As such, I hold him to a continual high standard of taste and craftsmanship. I’m happy to say Hi-Fi Christmas Guitar works so well on many levels. Instant classic? I vote yes. Dig for yourself this week on Local Anesthetic, Sunday night at 10:30 on WXRT. And, check out the release shows for Hi-Fi Christmas Guitar on Wed., Nov. 29 at SPACE and the Green Mill on Dec. 1-2.


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