Dear Friends and Fans,
Here is a happy holidays wish from me in California to you wherever you are, and some various newsy items. First of all, if you haven’t checked it out yet, please listen to and watch my Christmas song, “Are You Lonely Tonight, Mrs. Claus?” I wrote it with Craig Wright of the Tropicals and I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please share it with your friends. I love the thought of it making a lot of people smile this year.
Second, no year-end message for 2011 would be complete without my acknowledging the incredible gift which has been “Someone Like You,” the piano/vocal recording of Adele’s and mine which has become a worldwide hit to a degree which neither of us ever anticipated. Just the experience of writing it with her was a major musical treat. We made a great, simple demo of the song and I made sure it was as emotion-packed and real as we could make it. After the session, Adele reported to me, “It made me Mum cry.” Which I took as a good sign.
Then I kinda forgot about it. We wrote two other songs and then I got busy with other things. Many months later, her label contacted me to ask for the original files: she was planning to use our demo, just as we recorded it, on the album. You know the rest, you’ve probably heard “Someone Like You” in shopping malls, in your cars, in coffee places, perhaps one too many times. Now the album, “21,” is nominated for the album of the year Grammy, and as producer of that song I am nominated as well. Whether or not we win, it was inspiring and joyful to work with Adele, and it’s been astonishing watching the album rise to the top of the charts around the world.
Closer to home: two years ago, I performed at the New Standards’ annual Holiday gig at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul. I did two songs with the guys, the classic “Silver Bells,” and a song I wrote with the Dixie Chicks, “Lullaby.” The latter I sang as a duet with Gary Louris, whom you know from the Jayhawks. Gary and I have known each other at least since he played lead guitar on Semisonic’s “I Wish,” but we’ve never done a duet like this, and it felt like a revelation. Amazingly, the show was filmed and recorded beautifully. Watch Gary Louris and me sing “Lullaby” with the New Standards backing us, here.
Now if you want to get more of that action, you can buy The New Standards brand-new Holiday album. It’s jam-packed with classic Christmas and holiday songs, and performances by the best singers and players in John, Chan, and Steve’s overstuffed address books. The album also has a clever title: “The Current Presents The New Standards & Friends Holiday Show.” Marketing geniuses at work, and for that alone you ought to click the link and buy the record.
If you have a few bucks left over, you can go to my website store, where we’ve discounted T-shirts and CD’s for the last straggling holiday shoppers out there. I know, I know, this kind of thing only punishes those responsible souls who bought their gifts early, but think how much more stressful it is for those of us who procrastinate and have to do the whole job in a few frantic days. Once you’ve finished clearing out what inventory I have left, feel free to browse the bloggy musings and artworks strewn in a somewhat organized manner throughout the rest of my website.
“All The People of the World Holding Hands Around Plates of Donuts With Sprinkles,”
by Lily Wilson
My family and I moved to Los Angeles a little more than a year ago, and I have to admit, after many months of the homesick blues, I’m starting to feel pretty good about being here. Luckily, a lot of friends preceded me here, the result being that many loving arms have embraced me and much gentle advice has been dispensed to me about dealing with the city’s many pitfalls. Moreover, these friends have allowed me to kvetch to them, long past any reasonably tolerable time, over uncounted glasses of delicious locally-produced wine. If you are one of these friends, thank you. (Perhaps I should have picked up the tab a few more times than I did. I hope also to write you in a more personalized manner soon.)
So, with all that in mind, let me toast you all for getting through this quickly-waning year of 2011, hopefully intact and with your love for music and for one another still going strong. I wish you the very best of luck and bountiful love and joy in the new year!