Texas born Hamilton Loomis’ early influences include Johnny Copeland, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Albert Collins and especially Bo Diddley. In fact, he named his son Bo Jordan Loomis in honor of his mentor. Loomis released his debut recording in 1994. His 2007 Blind Pig Records “Ain’t Just Temporary” reached number 7 on the Billboard Blues Album Charts. Overall Loomis has seven studio albums and two live recordings; his last studio album being 2017’s “Basics” also on Ham-Bone Records.
This Christmas album was released on Thanksgiving Day in 2019. Loomis states the yuletide album is “something I’ve always wanted to do”. Loomis, guitars, vocals, bass, keyboards, and harmonica; is backed by bassist Mike Meade, and drummer Brannon McLeod. The album is co-produced by Loomis and McLeod; and recorded, mixed and mastered by McLeod at the Dramaface Recording Studio.
Loomis shows off his songwriting skills on five originals while also including five holiday classics. The album is dedicated to Bo. The title track is inspired by his son’s rare pancreatic disease and the funky tune conveys an uplifting message of hope with the emotive lyric “there’s a time, there’s a reason, got to bring healing this season”. This is an outstanding production with some great guitar and piano.
Loomis follows with “I got Everything I Wanted this Christmas…my baby changed her mind, after all this time, now we’re right back where we meant to be”. Other originals include “something Underneath The Tree”; “Love Again Christmas”; and the hilarious holiday rocker “Another South Texas Christmas”. These are wonderful originals.
The classics include an outstanding instrumental version of the traditional “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman” with some blistering guitar phrasing. “Lay Around And Love”, written by Bobby David and Dave Gillon, recorded by both Ray Charles in 1984; and by Delbert McClinton in 1993. “Christmas Tears”, co-authored by Sonny Thompson and Robert Charles Wilson, was first recorded by Freddie King in 1961. The 12-bar blues, “Run Rudolph Run”, recorded by Chuck Berry in 1958; and the traditional “O Holy Night” which closes out the album.
There is a lot to celebrate even in this tumultuous year. This new Christmas album by Hamilton Loomis is a joy.