Rhythm is absolutely everything in the new single “The Little Drummer Boy” from The Tono Jones Revelry, and as much as the notion of such a classic Christmas song being driven by grooves rather than a harmony bothered me to begin with, listening to this track has made me reconsider my opinion. Not only does The Tano Jones Revelry let a beat shape the tone of their emotionality in this cover, but they outright retool “The Little Drummer Boy” to suit their playing style almost exclusively. It’s quite an impressive effort, and very deserving of the headlines the single is scoring at the moment.
The music video puts us front and center before The Tano Jones Revelry for a performance that matches up with all of the heart we hear in the harmonies this song uses as a signature, and I love that it isn’t pushing a bunch of predictable Christmas themes on us in place of showing us real adrenaline and energy. This is a band that comes alive when they’re in front of the camera, and here, they punch out the kind of unique Christmas performance I’ve grown accustomed to seeing less and less of in the past five years alone.
The Tano Jones Revelry isn’t the only band making smart Christmas music this season, but they’ve undeniably got a charisma that I don’t see or hear much of on any portion of the dial, let alone as far underground as they are right now. They’re trending hard on the back of “The Little Drummer Boy,” and if they’re able to capitalize on the attention their complete discography is going to get thanks to the release of this warm holiday anthem, I believe both their career and the scene that spawned them will be far better off for it.