I’ve wanted to make this album for a long long time, but there was always travel, performances, overseas tours, day jobs, hobbies… Now, in the sudden quietude that became our lives in 2020, a group of musicians came together, collaborating entirely remotely in unprecedented circumstances, supporting one another, utilizing already-mainstream technology to create art. Most working musicians these days have their own studios--maybe just a few mics and some software--as tools for their profession. Now, in this strange and singular time, technology was our friend more than ever.
So picture longtime musical colleague and fiddler Ray Legere recording from his home in Nova Scotia…Roger’s son JD recording from a closet-converted-into-studio in his apartment...Gail Wade paying a visit to the unfinished side of our basement, sitting in front of my washing machine, occasionally waving her hand as she sang to keep our motion-detecting light from going dark while we listened and talked to her over headphones from the other side of the wall…Peggy Harvey laying down Hot Flash harmony and her signature sax on Mr. Santa…brothers Bob and Dave Dick recording from their respective studios and working hard to make the tunes sound like I heard them in my head. Bob recorded my Christmas in New England colleague, vocalist Karen Lincoln Wilber (socially distanced of course). My partner/recording engineer/life coach Roger Williams sat through my hyperventilating at my piano as I dusted off long-unused skills on that instrument (we handed off piano duties to Joe Grieco from down on The Shore on I Know What I Want for Christmas)…guitarist Jim Henry laid down perfect guitar tracks to Stevie Wonder’s Someday at Christmas (recorded, ironically, on the day civil rights icon John Lewis was laid to rest)…Jim Hoke, who can play almost every instrument on the planet, down in Nashville laid down some of the best pedal steel and chromatic harp I’ve heard anywhere—and threw in a percussion “brush track” just for good measure for that “town and country” feel, as he put it. Jim was on my 1998 album The Long Way Home and I knew he was the guy to play chromatic harp for me. All that other stuff was just amazing happenstance. It was an unparalleled, intense time, and the album was, as a friend put it, “perfect use of pandemic down time.” All the energy that would have gone out in performing went into this album. In a time when people supposedly aren’t buying CDs I decided to double down and release a 20-song effort, bringing together many of the tunes I have performed with the Christmas in New England ensemble and the Hot Flashes at our Christmas shows. It is our sincere hope that this album brings you some holiday cheer, this year and in years to come. And as the song says, have yourself a merry little Christmas.
‘Tis the season!
~~ Amy Gallatin, October 1, 2020
released October 25, 2020
Amy Gallatin: vocals, guitar, piano, finger pops, bells
Roger Williams: Dobro, guitar, bass, harmony vocals
JD Williams: mandolin, harmony vocals
Ray Legere: fiddle
Bob Dick: bass, harmony vocals
Dave Dick: guitar, banjo (guitar arrangement for Bells of Christmas)
Joe Grieco: piano (I Know What I Want for Christmas)
Jim Hoke: pedal steel, chromatic harp, jazz guitar, brushes (New Year’s Eve, I Know, Hard Candy Christmas),
Jim Henry: guitars (Someday at Christmas)
Karen Lincoln Wilber: harmony vocals (Two-Step ‘Round the Christmas Tree, What I’m Thankful For)
The Hot Flashes (Mr. Santa, Bucky’s Present, Silver and Gold, Straw Against the Chill, Christmas for Cowboys)
Peggy Ann Harvey: harmony arrangements, harmony vocals, harmonica, saxophone
Gail Wade: harmony vocals
Arrangements: Amy Gallatin, Roger Williams, JD Williams
Produced by Amy Gallatin
Engineered and recorded by:
Roger Williams, Pond Circle Studios
Bob Dick, Appleland Productions
Dave Dick, Unique 23 Productions
Mixing: Roger Williams, Pond Circle Studios,
Steve Sleeper, Blind Corner Studios
Mastering: Jim Chapdelaine
Guitar tech/Motivational coach: Roger Williams
A huge thank you to the musicians and all my partners in crime, to Dave Dick for Bells of Christmas and Christmas on the Town, Steve Sleeper for his incredible ears, and most especially to Roger Williams, who deserves nothing short of a medal for staying in for the long haul.
The powerhouse duo Amy Gallatin and resophonic guitarist Roger Williams—20 and 40 year veterans of the New England music
scene--joined forces a few years ago to explore their mutual love of country standards, served up with an acoustic treatment in the bluegrass vein. The result is a toe-tapping blend of heartfelt vocals, soaring harmonies and red-hot picking, traditional yet modern and distinct....more