Saturday, December 09, 2006

Seasonal Songs by Raun & Koloc

Since you'll be sick of Xmas songs soon, I'm getting this pair of ill folkies in before "Jesus Christ" is uttered in disgust at holiday music overload.
Not that this is typical annoying Christmas music. Not here!
Raun MacKinnon's song is about a nun, and Bonnie Koloc's "25th of December" is more a meditation on holiday depression.
Folkies Raun and Bonnie have one thing in common, they both sang backing vocals on Steve Goodman's "Jessie's Jig" album.
Raun, raised in Philadelphia, was signed to Cameo-Parkway, known for greasy male teen vocalists and soul. On that obscure lp her bassist was Spike Lee's father Bill. Her next (and last) stop was for Kapp, where she tried to add more rock and pop (ooh, trumpets lending a religious tone to "Sister Marie"). She taught guitar, and still performs on bills with Christine Lavin.
Koloc? You might remember her sweet taffy voice extolling "Mother Country" in a series of United Airlines commercials. Sort of the vanilla Billie Holiday, Bonnie's voice has a sorrowful and vulnerable quality. Gaining attention in the 60's at Chicago's Earl of Old Town, she's amassed ten albums, briefly appearing on a major label (Epic) before returning to the ranks of individualistic singer-songwriter self-pressing CDs.
"25th of December" (from the OP 1984 "You're Gonna Love Yourself in the Morning" album which also has the infamous "Mother Country") is a good example of the slight funk most people feel when the Christmas punch bowl seems half empty rather than half full. Since her voice really is quite pretty, the needle stays in the groove for the next song on the album, "Lion Tamer." It's about some guy who can handle lions, or pussy. Bonnie is so nice, I'll bet she didn't consider the euphemism in the lyric, and considering it's nearly Christmas, I'm almost ashamed to mention it.

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Bonnie Koloc
Raun MacKinnon

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