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Album review | Country

The Sweetback Sisters, ‘Country Christmas Singalong Spectacular’

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The best part about the Sweetback Sisters’ new album — aside from a smok-in’ rendition of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” — is knowing you can be part of the fun. “Country Christmas Singalong Spectacular” grew out of the Brooklyn, N.Y., honky-tonk band’s three years of performing these songs at the holidays. When they take the show on the road, including Tuesday’s concert at Club Passim, it’s one festive singalong with the audience. Singers Emily Miller and Zara Bode, who aren’t sisters but you’d never know that from their close harmonies, lead these songs with the perfect balance of sass, sincerity, and swing. The album has a good sense of humor, too. “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” is 40 seconds of the band meowing the melody like disinterested cats. Not exactly a seasonal staple, “Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year” is a clever tip of the cowboy hat to Loretta Lynn. This is the Christmas album for people who claim they don’t like such a thing. (Out now)

ESSENTIAL “Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year”

The Sweetback Sisters perform at Club Passim on Tuesday at 8 p.m.

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