One of the biggest crimes in the music industry is that Rahsaan Patterson is not a bigger star. A gifted songwriter (having written for artists like Brandy and Tevin Campbell) and an exquisite vocalist (think about the love child of Chaka Khan and Stevie Wonder), it galls me that his former “Kids Incorporated” castmate Stacy (Butterface) “Fergie” Ferguson has #1 singles and million selling records and Rahsaan doesn’t even have a major label contract.
That said, Rahsaan has built up quite the cult following over the past decade and change. He’s released four excellent studio albums and I just discovered his 2008 Christmas album “The Ultimate Gift”. I haven’t listened to much holiday music over the past couple of years (for no good reason), but the combination of the strong writing (6 of the 10 songs are originals written or co-written by Rahsaan), the genuine emotion (this doesn’t seem like a contract filler at all) and that soulful voice put me in the mood for good cheer almost as soon as the Thanksgiving turkey got cold!!
The track I’ve posted here is his version of Paul McCartney’s 1978 chestnut “Wonderful Christmastime”. While Macca’s version will remain a classic, Rahsaan updates the track with some serious use of the Linn drum machine, a staple of all those classic Prince tracks from back in the day. Makes you wonder what the Purple One would have done with a happy, uptempo holiday song (because, quite frankly, I LOVE “Another Lonely Christmas”, but that song makes me want to slit my wrists. Enjoy!!
P.S., it doesn’t look like Rahsaan’s main site has been updated recently, but be sure to check out his MySpace page.