This week's column starts off with consideration of several new CDs from Legacy Recordings' "The Classic Christmas Album" series. My reviews concerning a documentary DVD about Lynyrd Skynyrd and an EP from Nashville's Zeke Duhon wind things up for October.
'The Classic Christmas '80s Album,' Various Artists (Legacy Recordings, HHHH)
These four new chapters in the series arrived here Oct. 2, because that's plenty of time for listeners to decide whether they want some new Christmas music along with what they already have. This 1980s collection is the most unusual, featuring "Zat You Santa Claus" (Buster Poindexter & His Banshees of Blue), "Run Rudolph Run" (Dave Edmunds), "Christmas in Hollis" (Run-D.M.C) and Bob & Doug McKenzie's "Twelve Days of Christmas."
There are nine others you might remember, like "Do You Hear What I Hear" (Whitney Houston) and "Jingle Bell Rock" (Hall & Oates). This disc will brighten up your holiday party with tunes from that almost-forgotten decade. If that's not your chosen flavor, there are three other new "The Classic Christmas Album" titles from Sarah McLachlan, Earth Wind & Fire and Celtic Thunder.
'Zeke Duhon,' Zeke Duhon (Big Deal Music, HHH)
This Oct. 23 release is Nashville singer-songwriter Zeke Duhon's debut commercial release, a six-song EP/CD. He was initially influenced by his parents' record collection and wrote his first song by the age of 13. Modern influences are Ed Sheeran, Mumford & Sons and Coldplay.
My favorite songs of this hooky group are the folk-flavored "Faith and Hope" and the chiming "Hold Fast," but things are a bit more mechanical sounding than I prefer. Check Zeke out online to see what you think.
'Gone With The Wind: The Remarkable Rise & Tragic Fall Of Lynyrd Skynyrd' (MVDvisual, HHHHH)
This Oct. 16 DVD tells the story of the emergence of the powerful Southern rockers in 1973 after their mid-1960s Florida formation. They rapidly became one of America's favorite rock groups, but that ended all too quickly with the 1977 plane crash in Mississippi that took the lives of sometimes-combative songwriting front man Ronnie Van Zant, newest guitarist Steve Gaines, his background-singing sister Cassie and three others.
Their story is told with vintage film clips, interviews with former band members and a number of leading critics, including Robert Christgau. The versions of Skynyrd that have arisen since 1987 aren't looked on too kindly, but this film may be the definitive look at a truly original band.
Ricky Flake, a former punk rocker and current music fan, lives in Biloxi. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.