Yule Love It

The holiday season comes early for Asleep at the Wheel , who’ve just wrapped Merry Texas Christmas, Y’all (High Street/Windham Hill Records) at Austin’s Bismeaux studios. Highlights include Tish Hinojosa singing “Feliz Navidad” and Willie Nelson and Don Walser on “Silent Night.” Too homey for you? Wheel front man Ray Benson ’s “Christmas in Jail” might get you in the mood.

The Kinky Friedman tribute album, tentatively called Pearls in the Snow (“Because,” says the Kinkster, “the songs have been overlooked”), is well under way. Among those stringing his pearls are Bob Dylan , Dwight Yoakam , and Willie Nelson, who’s already cut “Ride ’em Jewboy.” The album, from Friedman’s vanity label, Kinkajou, will at first be marketed only through Don Imus ’ nationally syndicated radio show; later, Friedman says, it will be available in stores. Even sundown Friday to sundown Saturday?

“I have a concept,” frets guitar hero Ian Moore . “Whenever you say concept, record companies start freaking out and think of Toto or Styx or one of those bloated seventies bands.” Moore enters Austin’s Arlyn Studios this month to record his as-yet-untitled CD for Capricorn Records, and he’s hired producer Matt Hyde ( Soul Asylum ) to do something “more three-dimensional than just twelve songs.”

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