PLAYLIST: A Kimberley Locke Christmas

Kimberley Locke

Recording artists reinterpret Christmas songs every year. Most of these songs come from the same traditional Christmas music catalog. These songs consist of “Silent Night,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Jingle Bells,” and many more. I usually just pass the new album lists and ignore half the new releases this time of year.

Yet this year, there is some new Christmas music to hear. I found new renditions of “O Holy Night,” “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree,” and “The Christmas Waltz” by Kimberley Locke.

Many know Kimberley Locke for the hits “8th World Wonder” and “Change.”  Locke also came in 3rd runner up on American Idol’s second season. With a voice like elastic, Locke’s vocals seem to have a limitless range.

Locke’s sass and range comes out on “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree.” I’m pretty sure this might be the best version recorded since the original by Brenda Lee in 1960. I dare you to listen to this track and not smile. Even the biggest scrooge will enjoy this tune.

Next, there is Locke’s jazzy take on “The Christmas Waltz.” Her vocals sore beyond what this song demands and her voice is perfectly at home in the “freedom” jazz provides. Locke’s version is classy, making me think of a bougie party with tuxes, red dresses, and fur (fake fur, of course).

Then there is Locke’s emotionally stirring version of “O Holy Night.” Her vocals tell a story beyond the birth of Jesus. She takes her voice where one wouldn’t think possible, literally turning it upside down while hitting soul stopping notes. With just a simple piano accompanying her, Locke shows how one can rejoice, struggle, and be content. The struggle in her voice is not painful, it is recollecting over heartache past while maintaining hope. That hope is in a Savior.

Locke’s new recordings prove that, done the right way, Christmas music will never go stale. They also show a new vocal side to Locke as she has unleashed a new vocal prowess. While I’m celebrating Christmas this year, I’m going to wish for more new recordings from Locke in 2018.

Check out all of Kimberley Locke’s new music here on Spotify.

Connect with Kimberley Locke:

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PLAYLIST: From the Soul, December 3, 2017

As I am moving into my new “normal,” I have found my music choices all over the spectrum. I cannot switch the vinyl quick enough. This is not anything new though, I’m always all over the radar, but I thought it would be interesting to go over some of these songs. I wanted to think about why I’m listening to them. Maybe that can give me a clue of where I am in life and you can always judge somebody by the record collection or playlist, right?


“Proud Mary” –Tina Turner

Now I cannot completely verify this research, but I once read that “Proud Mary” doesn’t necessarily have a meaning. When John Fogerty wrote this song, he put together a bunch of different riffs and verses he had written. For me, this song makes complete sense, especially in my life now!

I really did just leave a steady career track to pursue a passion of mine. Right now I’m just rollin,’ and life has been rough, but in the end, everything’s nice and easy.

                                                         Tina Turner Twitter   Tina Turner Facebook   Tina Turner Instagram


“Mary Did You Know” –Kimberley Locke

Honestly, I have never really been into Christmas music. I’ve had a few favorites over the years, but I’ve never been elated to hear that first Christmas tune at Wal-Mart in July. I’m not a scrooge, just not overly festive. One of my favorite Christmas songs is “Mary Did You Know?” I love the song’s perspective. I’ve been looking for a simple version with a powerhouse vocal that brought justice to the lyrics. Kimberley Locke’s version does just that and I’m hooked.

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“Roxanne” –The Police 

I cannot really explain why I am listening to this song. It popped into my head the other day and has been in the back ever since. I’ve been trying to figure out a few songs that I could start practicing myself that were outside the “piano” realm, but one that still echoed jazz sentiments. This song has so many great versions out there along those lines, but nothing beats the original.

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“Purple Rain” –Prince

I’m starting to see an 80’s theme, but this is where it’s going to end. Lately I have been listening to music from Prince’s entire career catalog. “Purple Rain” is such a classic though. I can’t hear it once and not go on a binge listen for a few days….or weeks.

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“Lady Blue” –Griffin Anthony

I discovered Griffin Anthony on Twitter a few months ago. Once I heard his album The Making of A Man, I was hooked to his vocal’s true country tones and soulful foundation. “Lady Blue” is one of my favorite tracks off of the album due to it’s pure honesty. You can sense both hope, frustration, and heartbreak woven in it’s lyrics. Expect a full review soon. If anybody belongs on vinyl it’s Anthony.

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“New York” –St. Vincent

When I find myself in a “rut,” where I keep listening to the same artists and songs consistently, I force myself to try something new. I am a member of Vinyl Me, Please, and their album of the month was St. Vincent’s MASSEDUCTION. Read my full review of her album here. St. Vincent is innovative in both the sound of her music and writing. I love how so many of her songs change “attitude” throughout the song yet they always have a reigning theme.

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“River” –Idina Menzel

Here is another one of favorite Christmas songs. I have been a fan of Idina Menzel for many years now, so naturally I did buy her Christmas album a few years back. Although this is officially Joni Mitchell’s classic, I fell in love with Menzel’s version. It was just what I needed that year and it has remained a staple in my winter playlist since. I believe Barnes and Noble is featuring this on limited edition vinyl…..

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“Good to You” –Jonny P 

Songs that have old school vibes with a modern twist always catch my ear. I found recently this one recently. My friend was talking about Jonny P and I found his music video on Vevo. I definitely plan to check out more of his music this week.

Jonny P Twitter   Johnny P Facebook   Johnny P Instagram


“Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” –Darlene Love

Rolling Stone said it best when they declared that Darlene Love is one of the greatest singers of all time. I couldn’t agree more. In recent years, she is finally getting some of the well deserved credit and respect she truly deserves. This song will always remain a staple in Love’s career and it has cemented itself as a holiday classic. Love performed this song every year on David Letterman since 1986. Here is her first performance of her classic.

   Darlene Love Facebook


“Perfect” –Ed Sheeran and Beyoncé

Anything featuring Beyoncé will always get my attention. Yes, I am an unashamed member of the Bey Hive. Do not talk bad about her majesty in my presence. With that being said, I’m not 100% into this song. Ed Sheeran’s music has never really crossed my path, but this may have opened the door a tad. I am listening to this repeatedly trying to get fully into it. I’ll keep you posted.

Ed Sheeran: Ed Sheeran Twitter   Ed Sheeran Facebook   Ed Sheeran Instagram

Beyoncé: Beyonce Twitter   Beyonce Facebook   Beyonce Instagram


So what does my playlist say about me? I’m not sure exactly what it says  or where I’m at in life, but in the end it’s exactly where I need to be. Music is what you have when words are not adequate. Vinyl is my medium. What you listen too is what speaks to your soul. Where does that leave me?

Who the heck knows, but I’m enjoying the journey…

                                                           Gabe Crawford Twitter   Gabe Crawford Instagram

ALBUM REVIEW: St. Vincent, MASSEDUCTION

It has been awhile since I have written any of my musical musings and it’s not for a lack of words. I have discovered TONS of great music over the past few months. My job went crazy and my life went into an awkward spiral, but now I’m back, thanks to St. Vincent.

Over the last few months I decided to rejoin Vinyl Me, Please. I was once a member and I don’t particularly remember why I stopped. Through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram reading all my browsing history and spying on my personal life, I received many advertisements for Vinyl Me, Please, and November’s record of the month, St. Vincent’s MASSEDUCTION, caught my eye.

St. Vincent Music Review, MASSEDUCTION
Vinyl Me, Please Special Edition

Now, who hasn’t heard of St. Vincent? The record stores back home in Oklahoma take pride in her career because she was born in Tulsa, but my research tells me she moved to Texas before she was 5. I’d like to call her an Okie, but I don’t know if she would accept it.

Anyways, MASSEDUCTION quickly took me by surprise. Although I had seen a lot about St. Vincent’s music, this is actually my first foray into her catalog. I already have more of her albums on order.

To be candid, I really love MASSEDUCTION. This album served perfectly as an intro to St. Vincent’s work. I understand her earlier work is different, but this record has served as my gateway drug.

There are many reasons why I love this album, so many that it is hard to pinpoint exact reasons. Each song is like an impressionist painting. St. Vincent lays out what she sees, yet she leaves much to the imagination. Like many impressionist paintings, this album is also full of color as the orchestration ranges from heavy synthesizers to basic piano.

This album explores many themes, especially in relationships and self-discovery, but the reigning motif for me was self-acceptance. St. Vincent asks to be someone’s flawed foundation in “Hang On Me,” while calling BS on this world’s standards with “Pills” and “Los Ageless.” She knows what it’s like to be lonely and how her decisions have impacted her plight in life with “New York,” Fear The Future,” and “Young Lover.”

St. Vincent Music Review, MASSEDUCTION
The Telagraph.

At the end of all these emotions and trials, she is working on accepting herself, because ” “she can’t help what turns her on” in “MASSEDUCTION.” Although this doesn’t result in her over confidence, because she is still completely vulnerable in tracks like “Happy Birthday, Johnny” and “Smoking Section.”

For me, MASSEDUCTION is not a musical journey, yet a musical process, set to the tone of purposeful “pop” if you will (Disclaimer: I think being “pop” is one of the most freeing “genres” of music. It is never a diss in my writings). Through this album’s instrumentation one can find influences of rock, dance, jazz, and electronica. This is easily seen from the rapid tempo of “Pills” to the string arrangement of “Dancing With A Ghost.”

One last note, St. Vincent’s vocals are nearly pristine on this album. Ballads, like “Happy Birthday, Johnny” really show off her “classic” vocal talent. She may be considered an indie or alternative artist, but she can sing circles with the best of them.

MASSEDUCTION completely accomplished it’s title, as it has completely seduced me into the world of St. Vincent and, apparently, I’m not alone. I was online today trying to buy tickets for her shows in New York City this weekend and they are completely sold out. Off to StubHub I go!

Check out St. Vincent’s official website here.

Check out St. Vincent’s Twitter: @St_Vincent.

Check out St. Vincent’s Instagram: @St_Vincent.

Check out St. Vincent’s Facebook here.