I don’t generally listen to a lot of Country music, but while conducting my annual search for Christmassy tunes to blast out while wrapping presents and writing cards, I discovered a sparky young “cowgirl” stoner* named Kacey Musgraves. Although the songs she plays aren’t especially punky or “alternative”, her lyrics have caused some controversy with their casual endorsement of pot-smoking and homosexuality, and condemnation of churchy hypocrisy… though this hasn’t prevented her from scoring nominations for numerous Country/Americana awards, and even winning a couple, including three CMAs (New Artist of the Year (2013), Song of the Year – “Follow Your Arrow” (2014), and International Achievement (2016)), as well as two Grammys (Best Country Song – “Merry Go ‘Round”, and Best Country Album – “Same Trailer, Different Park” (2014)). Besides her gorgeous singing voice (with its home-grown Texan twang), I also admire her laid-back attitude, welcoming warmth, and witty way with words… all of which makes her seem like a fun kinda gal to hang out with, so I’m very envious of the lucky fans who snapped up meet-and-greet tickets for her current “A Very Kacey Christmas Tour”, in support of the eponymous album.
Besides seasonal classics like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, and “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?”, she also covers a couple more off-beat tracks like “Mele Kalikimaka” and “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”, alongside some very catchy original compositions like “Ribbons and Bows”, and “A Willie Nice Christmas” (featuring Willie Nelson!)… accompanied by the requisite sleigh-bells, accordions, and pedal steel guitars. I’ve only heard it twice through so far, and am pretty rubbish at writing about music at the best of times, but I thought this album was an adorable bundle of festive fun, and a fine addition to the canon. According to an interview with Rolling Stone, Musgraves set out to “create a whimsical throwback holiday record, one that evokes feelings of nostalgia and simpler times.” Mission accomplished!
* Er, I use that term affectionately… no offence intended.