Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Live Christmas Songs!

Live Christmas Songs!

November 24, 2010 at 12:15 am
Live Christmas Songs!
As we celebrate Advent and Christmas, it occurred to me that we didn’t have live versions of some of the songs from our multi-track like “The Joy” http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/13632562 or “God is With Us”.  I’ve decided to post some of them from time to time in the coming days.  (Of course, some songs fitting this title are already on here, like “City of Joy” that we did at the Sons of Mary one year; this actually far surpasses, in my opinion, the multi-track version we did.  We have put on “O Holy Night”, “Greatest Story”, “He Will Be”, John’s “Rejoice Now All Men” and “O Little Town of Judah”, also.)

Recently, I added “Christmas Time” by John.  [Here is the link:  http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/13632827  ]  He wrote this when his eldest boy Michael was very little and looking “with wondering eyes” at the Christmas scene outside the window.  I really love this song; it’s got a beautiful, innocent feel.  Neither Dave nor I could remember who among us did the ‘chiming bell’ keyboard line in concert but it sure is nice.  Denise and I do a great job echoing on the vocals, I think.  [When Pepi was fighting with the squirrels in the walls and in his closet at 505 Pleasant Street, we would have fun with the opening of this song by adapting the words to tease him and sing to him:  “…deep in the walls you can hear the sounds of squirrels; Billy’s getting his gun, now look at them run….”!  We sure were silly in those days.]

So, we are going to add “The Joy” and “Merry Christmas” by Mike and “God is With Us”.  The way we did these songs live adds an extra dimension to them.  Like some of our other stuff, what we did live was improved and amplified by the process of recording, which in turn gave a whole new way of doing it live!  I remember I used to do the ‘ding dong’ riff on the acoustic (with Greg’s hammer-on harmonics) to start in concert and then I would put it down and come out to front the song which it really cried out for because of the “I leave my sheep in the valley” line (that’s why you have a much longer break between the first two verses than there is on the multi-track).  I would then go back up to the standing mike when I sang “I’m back with my sheep in the valley”; this made for a great audio-visual feel within the song.
“The Joy” was really fun to do live and you can almost hear the fun here.  We switch off the vocals so many times it was kind of hard for Pepi & Jim to mix, but it’s actually better balanced on this live one than on the multi-track.

We would usually END each Christmas show with “Merry Christmas” every time, and on this version you can actually hear Tom Prunera saying goodnight as we start!  [Here is the link:  http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/13633076As I recall, Greg played Bass, Dave keyboards and I did swells and fills on Greg’s electric, trying to simulate the backwash Greg had on the recording.  From what Kathy narrated in the middle, this show was actually in early January after Christmas Day, which is what we usually did at SheepGate Coffeehouse.  Most other Christmas shows were during Advent.

Well, that’s enough for now.  Please enjoy all this music we’ve put together for Christmas.  Julia and I have been so blessed and happy to hear it all as I have been preparing.  By the way, there is a video of the dance for “Love’s Beginning”, also.  And, “IM Radio” has several of our Christmas songs in some of their play rotations.  We hope you are blessed this Season!