The Handsome Family’s “So Much Wine, Merry Christmas” has slowly become an underground classic, being covered by the likes of Andrew Bird and The Minus 5’s Scott McCaughey, amongst many, many others. Each new year brings new voices to this beautiful, yet dark song, and 2021 welcomed the wonderful Katy Kirby to the growing chorus. A solo, acoustic version of “So Much Wine, Merry Christmas” debuted at Radio Milwaukee late last year, while a fully-produced version found its way onto the extended edition of her wonderful 2021 release, Cool Dry Place. Katy’s cover is technically based on the Andrew Bird arrangement, which I have already heaped some praise upon, but I am finding myself even more taken by Katy’s approach. Her soulful voice nestled amongst warm piano lines will leave you wishing for a crackling fire to stare at… perhaps some (spiked) eggnog as well. Indeed, this is a thing of beauty.
Bottom Line: Katy Kirby enters the top tier of “Too Much Wine” covers, and most certainly muscles her way on to many a discerning Christmas mixtape.