Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Christmas Past

Really excited about the upcoming release of a collection of Christmas songs, Christmas Past.  The EP was recorded in Paducah, Kentucky at Coffee Street Records Studios, just like our last release, Rain.  Quote honestly, if this wasn't a seasonal release, I'd keep it in the can longer since Rain is still on the charts and doing well! 

This was a really stripped down effort, with just me on guitars, my engineer, co-producer Heath Glisson on bass and drums and, Matt Lyerla, a very talented multi-instrumentalist, on piano on 3 songs.

I wanted to record a couple or original Christmas songs I'd written, especially "Christmas Past" which I actually wrote 15 or 20 years ago but had never gotten around to recording.  The other four songs on the EP are favorites of mine which I've played for years at some local assisted living centers at Christmastime.

The EP features some rockers: "Winter Wonderland" and "Run Run Rudolph", with great piano solos by Matt, along with "Blue Christmas" which is kinda mashujp between Elvis' and Leon Redbone's.  "White Christmas" is kind of a unique arrangement.  Hard to describe, other than nowhere NEAR the familiar version.  "Christmas with my Baby" is a nice little blues shuffle with light hearted lyrics.  "Christmas Past" is kinda neat.  When I wrote it, I was surprised I'd never hear of a Christmas song with this title and covering this subject in this way.  Heath did a nice turn on the bass, too.

For you gearheads, I only used 2 guitars: a Brian Setzer 6120SSU Tiger Stripe Gretsch, and one of my favorite strats, Forrest, a '79 25th Anniversary Fender Strat, I only used 2 effects: Boss Tremolo, and Fulltone OCD.  Probably the thing which stands out most on this CD is my voice.  I'm happy to report I've now been smoke free for more than 6 months, and I'm not only hitting notes I haven't hit in 20 years, I'm hitting notes I've NEVER hit! 

Christmas Past will be released shortly after Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Charts! Christmas!

 Hard to believe we're approaching 4 months of the Roots Music Report's Contemporary Blues Chart and still hanging in there with our latest release, Rain.  I never would have imagined, after 10 years, we'd get the reception we have from listeners, DJs, PDs and Presenters.  Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart.

I guess the thing which is most remarkable to me, is that DJs have played ALL 10 songs on the CD, and the CD has been played all over the world!

Meanwhile, the holidays will be here before you know it, and I'm thrilled to say, we're merely days away from releasing my first collection of Christmas songs.  Christmas Past is an EP of 6 Christmas songs, 2 originals and 4 favorites, with 2 of them done with very unusual arrangements.

I always loved Christmas songs, but never recorded any until now.  The EP includes Christmas Past, a song I wrote more than 10 years ago, but never recorded until now, along with another original, Christmas With My Baby.  The old favorites are songs which I've included each year while playing Christmas shows with the band, 61 South, and also during solo/duo acoustic shows during the Christmas season.  Man y of these shows have actually been at assisted living facilities, so it's been heart warming for me as well as the residents, and it gets to more dear to my heart each year.  More about EP soon!  It's scheduled for release around Thanksgiving!