For the last few years I have posted a special Advent version of Free Download Friday offering links to free festive music on the four Fridays before Christmas. This year, I managed two Free Download Fridays and no Advent downloads. Sorry. I did, however, collect a few good freebies, so I offer them here as a Christmas present.
1) Joe Bonamassa
Another year, and another Christmas download from Joe. Perhaps not as strong as previous offerings (no longer available, but you can read about them in my previous post) but a new track from Mr Bonamassa is always worth a listen. You can download it from his website in exchange for enduring a particularly bizarre web page!
2) Hayseed Dixie
Thanks to my colleague, Mr Mosh, for this link... I posted a video of Hayseed Dixie back in 2009 but they have never featured in this blog as a free download. But just in time for Christmas, they posted links on their facebook page to two Christmas tracks. White Trash Xmas is good and well worth a listen but Misty Wonderland Hop is outstanding! Download it now and put it on repeat for the rest of Christmas - you'll thank me later.
3) Roadrunner Records
At a time when free downloads are becoming harder to find, it's great to see that Roadrunner Records is still making tracks available on a semi-regular basis. This year, it looks like the main free download (well, the one featured on the front page of the UK site) is No Presents For Christmas from King Diamond. After a deceptively traditional start, it soon launches into its full metal glory! As well as the this track, they have also "re-released" Black Stone Cherry's Santa Claus Is Back In Town which is outrageously good! The sweartastic X-M@$ from Corey Taylor is also available for free but I'll leave you to find that one yourself. (This is a family friendly blog after all!) Finally, while looking around to see what else is available, I found a track from 2012 that I obviously missed last year that is still available for download: Royal Republic have an acoustic cover of Chris Rea's classic Driving Home For Christmas. The sound quality is a bit tinny but it is still a good track.
4) For everyone else
I realise that the three sets of download above will not be to everyone's taste, so here are a few alternatives where hopefully there will be something for everyone.
- CBC's Twelve Days Of Christmas: thirteen tracks to choose from. I like The Little Drummer Boy from Walk Off The Earth and I Believe In Father Christmas from Moist but my favourite by a long stretch is the boogie-woogie piano version of Winter Wonderland from Michael Kaeshammer (see video below).
- Paste Holiday Sampler 2013: Fourteen tracks in this one. My favourite is Children Go Where I Send Thee from Nick Lowe but I like the submissions from Otis Redding, Little Hurricane and The Last Bison too.
- Classical guitar - Craig Ogden: A beautiful version of Deck The Halls.
That's it for this year. Merry Christmas and, in the words of Tiny Tim: God bless us every one!