Head cheese

Thornetta Davis is a Motor City siren song. People have been overheard cooing things like “religious experience” after her shows. Back in 1996, the big-voiced soul-blues matriarch signed with alt-rock sacred cow Sub Pop and issued the terminally underrated Sunday Morning Music. Sure, she’s gigged with bigwigs — from the VH1 Fashion Awards to the Lilith Fair — but it’s her weekly stints at the Attic Bar and Sunday morning gospel musings at Detroit’s Renaissance Unity Church that find her bucking for sainthood.

Davis will be performing with her old pal, preacher Marianne Williamson (the two appeared together on UPN’s weekly “Church of Today”) on Christmas Eve at Southfield’s Shriners Auditorium. But now she’s like to get all secular with her top five nontraditional Christmas songs.

5. “Run, Rudolph, Run” by Chuck Berry: Because the guitar sounds like it’s on fire. Especially when Brett Lucas [Davis’s guitarist] plays the song.

4. “Santa Baby” by Eartha Kitt: It’s a good way to throw out hints for Christmas presents. Just press repeat.

3. “Santa’s Secret” by Johnny Guarnieri with Slam Stewart: Because it’s funny. Why? You figure it out. [Ed. note: “Santa’s Secret” might cause acute cravings for butterscotch gingerbread people.]

2. “Boogie Woogie Santa Claus” by Mabel Scott: Because it makes me wanna dance.

1. “Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto” by James Brown: It reminds you to remember the ones who are sometimes forgotten.


Appearing at a benefit for The American Stroke Association on Wednesday, Dec. 15, at the Attic Bar (11667 Jos. Campau, Hamtramck; 313-365-4194).

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