Christmas trees litter the curbs like fallen soldiers from the holiday wars. It’s 2010 and we’re hip deep in the bleak season, the frozen weeks that stretch out before us, flat and eventless, after the big celebrations. It’s the time for post-holiday depression, when the daily routine returns with a vengeance to slap you right in the face with a big fistful of reality.

Now, I like winter as much as the next guy, but it’s cold out today. My shoulders ache from the clenched-up tenseness until the act of walking begins to warm me up. Which is why I laugh out loud when I hear the Isley Brothers play “Summer Breeze.” This was originally a lighter-than-air hit by Seals and Crofts back in the 1970s, but the Isleys—well, the Isleys kick it in the ass and give it a soul infusion, ending it with one of Ernie Isley’s thrilling, soaring guitar solos. I remember being knocked out by their version when I bought my vinyl Isley Brothers collection (Forever Gold) way back when, but I haven’t heard the song in a long time. It more than lives up to my memory—especially that guitar solo. It warms me right up.

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