Boogie Woogie began before the turn of the century with a lot of piano banging and chord changes. It means much more now, but it’s always been a call to dance.
For a taste of the low down dirty original feeling, The Chicago Kingsnakes clang-a-lang-a-lang-a-lang on “Boogie Woogie Christmas” from the superior album Holiday Boogie. Feel that repetitive carpal tunnel beat? Yeah, that’s right.
Jazzier, but still rowdy, Jimmy Maddox gets virtuosoistic all over the 88 keys with “Boogie Woogie Christmas Card.” Check out those changes: is he more than one man?!
Brain Setzer (and band) have retro-fitted tunes like “Boogie Woogie Santa Claus,” modernizing the licks, but still, nicely, beholding to the big band smooth-interchange of instruments. Mabel Scott beats the blues off that cat.
Deanna Carter does a country version of another “Boogie Woogie Santa Claus” but she vamps the siren intimacy in keeping with big band sexiness. Kind of a waste of talent.
Jimmy Rankin wails out a Canadian country electric “Boogie Woogie Christmas” by the numbers. He’s selling it, but–Canadian boogie woogie, eh?
Strangely, this wild renegade music is so old and institutionalized we have children’s versions. Paul and Teresa Jennings of Music K8 have quieted down some screaming sounds for “Blitzen’s Boogie.” There’s a cool song in there somewhere.
For some (updated) jellyroll-style boogie woogie, bet on The Tractors.”Santa Claus is Coming (in a Boogie Woogie Choo Choo Train)”is the piano you have been looking for. I mean, damn.