Thirsty Houligans lament ‘Xmas in Jail’ on CDWritten by Jordan Finney | | firstname.lastname@example.org
“Xmas in Jail” — Thirsty Houligans’ contribution to the American Red Cross benefit CD “Red, White & You, Too!” — boasts a country flair that ventures to the fringe of the band’s trademark music style. They call it “Rust Belt Folk ’n’ Roll,” a blend of Irish and Appalachian folk, alternative rock, old-school country and rockabilly.
“It’s a little different than most of the stuff we do — [it] leans more toward country, but I’m really happy with how it turned out,” said Mic Graves.
Toledo Free Press Editor in Chief Michael S. Miller, who produced the benefit CD, said the Houligans’ song inspired the “Christmas in July” portion of the CD.
“I loved the track but it didn’t fit with the [TFP Make-A-Wish benefit CD] holiday theme,” Miller said. “Put-in-Bay’s Christmas in July is a fun part of summer, so pairing the Houligans with the Extra Stout version of ‘Christmas in Killarney’ struck me as a quirky and fun touch.”
The lyrics describe how the ex-wife of a “bad old boy” nags him on Christmas Eve about a past mistake, namely spending Christmas in a county jail after getting arrested for drunk driving.
“The lyrics are nothing from personal experience, but everybody knows somebody like that, at least I do,” Graves said.
“I wrote the song on a spring or summer afternoon a few years ago sitting on a sofa in Tokyo, Japan. I don’t know why. Maybe I was feeling a little homesick.”
Graves said he never noticed anything spectacular about Toledo until he left it behind to live in Tokyo for nine years.
After deciding to come back to the Glass City, Graves introduced “Xmas in Jail” to one of his former bands but it didn’t go anywhere. After bringing the Toledo-inspired song to Thirsty Houligans, it was an immediate hit.
“People really like it. Some of the guys would like to play that song at every concert, but I have this thing about confining Christmas songs to Christmas,” Graves said.
“Xmas in Jail” is one of Thirsty Houligans’ many original compositions. The five-man band also plays popular covers.
The members of Thirsty Houligans feel ecstatic that “Xmas in Jail” will be “part of something bigger” as a part of “Red, White & You, Too!,” Graves said.
The CD is available at all local Frisch’s Big Boy and Ralphie’s restaurants for $10, which includes a $4 coupon to those eateries. One hundred percent of sales goes to the American Red Cross of Northwest of Ohio.