Buttkickin’ Holiday Songs: “I Saw Three Ships” — Don Dixon (2006)

Don Dixon produced some of the greatest power pop/alt pop/music PERIOD, including such seminal records as R.E.M.’s Murmur and Reckoning and The Smithereens Especially For You and Green Thoughts, and has worked with the likes of Matthew Sweet, Marshall Crenshaw, and The Connells, which means he’s responsible for a huge chunk of music over which I go ridiculously fanboy.

Anyway, his wonderful take on I Saw Three Ships originates from the 2006 expanded re-release of The dB’s Christmas Time Again!, featuring the titular band and a host of friends (including the likes of Yo La Tengo, Jeff Tweedy, Alex Chilton, Robyn Hitchcock, Big Star’s Third with Mike Mills), and it’s a fantastic album which you should play at any festive Christmas/holiday party. Or in your car. On on a motorcycle. You two girls…

Dixon’s live performance of this Christmas classic is strong, bluesy, and totally swinging, with a simple earnest arrangement, amazing vocals, and some thundering upright bass driving the piece. This is a great one. Give it a listen, see?

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