As we wind our way through this last month of 2022, for many, the holiday season is in full swing. Seasonal music is everywhere around us right now, but while most places will overwhelm you with the usual stuff, we are sharing four recent festive firecrackers from some good friends of GDW, to fill your hearts with some holiday spirit. Who knows … we may surprise you with a few more like these before the week is over….
Jerry Leger, “Christmas Without You”
“I love the first snowfall / Fresh on the sidewalk / Everybody listening / To the street choir singing / And I’m alone / Here with my thoughts / And having you near / Is all that I want.” We kick off our holiday-themed edition of Snappy Singles with this latest tune from Toronto’s Jerry Leger – a good friend of GDW who (after all this time) decided to pen his first original Christmas tune. “It’s a song about missing a loved one during the holidays, which I think most of us can relate to,” Jerry offers. “I know this time of year brings back a lot of joyful but bittersweet memories. For me, I find these kinds of songs comforting.” Connecting once again with producer Michael Timmins (The Cowboy Junkies), with mastering by Peter J. Moore, Jerry also calls upon good friends Dan Mock (bass/vocals), Kyle Sullivan (drums/percussion/vocals), and Alan Zemaitis (keys) to add their talents to both this, and a surprise second song. That’s right – for those of you who have been extra good this year, Jerry has asked the man with the bag to drop an extra holiday tune under your festive tree – a cracking cover of the Kinks tune, “Father Christmas.” “Holy night / Guide this light / Shake the spirit / Make it bright / For how will I ever get through / Another Christmas without you.”
Lawrence Maxwell, “Christmas Morning Coffee”
Charlottetown, PEI country-folk storyteller Lawrence Maxwell appreciates that while this season is often painted as the most wonderful time of the year, for some, the holidays can act instead as an emotional trigger. Hence this slightly heavier-themed Christmas composition that specifically targets families that have been torn apart due to a failed marriage, a divorce, or even the devastating loss of a loved one. Yes, the themes may be heavy, but for Maxwell, the message being offered is one of remaining hopeful. “For this song, I wanted to share my own experiences and feelings throughout the tougher years, because I’ve never heard of a Christmas song that goes into these topics,” Lawrence shares. “I think it’s something that a lot of people can relate to, and I want to show them what beauty can come from these seemingly challenging moments.” Reminiscent of an old Alan Jackson song, Maxwell’s lyrics paint a clear picture of a child who is weary of the joy that surrounds them. “There ain’t no such thing as tradition / Two homes don’t make it better / Holidays won’t last forever / Hold on to Momma’s smile / Might not see another for a while,” Lawrence recites, “Daddy asks us how we’re doing / Christmas morning coffee’s brewing / Yeah Christmas morning coffee’s brewing.”
Andrea Ramolo, “Christmas With You”
“The snow’s a blanket on the lawn / The radio is playing my song / Don’t give up and just be strong they say / The winter moon she guides me home / She makes me feel I’m not alone / She told me you would find me here one day.” Toronto-based Italian-Canadian folk artist Andrea Ramolo recently dropped not one, but three festive tunes – with this original composition sandwiched between some great covers of Elvis Presley and Roger Miller Christmas songs. “I wanted to give you all enough time with the holiday album because the season tend to fly by every year,” Andrea recently shared. “This is my first official production here I engineered, produced and mixed from my little home studio.” With deliberately simple arrangements and instrumentation, Andrea’s vocals perfectly deliver these three tunes – with this self-penned tune in particular easily getting you into the holiday spirit and tempting you to sing along in no time. “Christmas with you, Christmas with you / I’ll be spending Christmas this Christmas with you / … / So, cozy up with me tonight / Kiss me by the candlelight / We’ve got nowhere else to go / Don’t you love that winter snow.”
Celeigh Cardinal, “Christmas Letter To My Friends”
It is only fitting to wrap up our final Snappy Singles of 2022 with this timeless festive tune from Edmonton, AB artist Celeigh Cardinal – given that Celeigh’s 2021 single, “There Ain’t No Better Way (Better Days Version)” was my favorite single from last year. Co-written/produced with friend and band-mate Brennan Cameron, this latest offering has an authentic old-school holiday charm. “Crooning Christmas songs has always been my favourite kind of music to sing,” Celeigh shares. “It was only natural that the song would have a vintage sound.” Delve a little deeper, and in similar fashion to Lawrence Maxwell’s tune, this song also touches on some of the more challenging parts of the holidays. “For anyone who has lost a loved one, or isn’t close with their family, holidays can actually be really tough,” Celeigh adds. “I wanted to create a song that included the stories of people we don’t often hear about – folks who have chosen families, folks who are grieving, folks who prefer plants over people, folks who are single. Grief changes over time, but never disappears completely and is present within every celebration.” So, whether you are surrounded by family, your chosen family, your plants, or a pup, it’s important to be grateful for those loved ones that you can and should rely on.