Profiling acts breaking at radio and/or retail and entering Billboard’s charts.
HOLIDAY CHEER: Adulterous reindeers, squirrel jambalaya and a naughty Santa Claus make up the countrified holiday carols of the X-mas Ball’s debut effort “She Left Me For Randolph.”
Six years in the making, the mix of comic and heartfelt original tunes is the product of Los Angeles-based producer Jerry “Swamp Dogg” Williams and Nashville-based songwriter/producer Ned McElroy. The duo met in 1998 and immediately set to work on an album that evokes the spirit of novelty Christmas standards.
While the title track — a story of a wife leaving her husband for a reindeer — includes humorous lyrics like “They flew off with my Christmas cash/I’m gonna kick his reindeer ass” the album also gets serious with wistful songs like “You Lose Mr. Scrooge” and the upcoming January single “I Need An Angel.”
An album highlight is the spoken-word “Santa’s Mailbox,” which features an ornery Santa replying to Christmas wishes with lines like “Dear Larry, do I look like an ATM? What you need is a job.”
Monty Lane Allen, who sings on the single “(All I Want for Christmas Is) A Soldier Coming Home,” is one of the few vocalists identified in the X-Mas Balls mystery band made up of L.A. and Nashville artists.
The CD, released on Swamp Dogg’s own SDEG Records, also features a bonus DVD with the video for “…A Soldier Coming Home,” which was produced with the United States Army and has been seen worldwide throughout Armed Forces outlets.
In Billboard’s year-end issue, the album debuted at No. 40 on the Top Heatseekers chart, No. 50 on the Top Independent Albums tally and No. 71 on the Top Country Albums list.