Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Testing Out A New Plug-In

November 30, 2016

Hi Folks,
Tomorrow is the ‘official’ first post of 2016. I’m using a new plugin to publicize this blog and wanted to give it a test drive prior to kick off. It supposedly makes it a bit easier to schedule posts and to ensure everything gets fed to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.

Also, I realize your facebook feed is probably as cluttered as mine. If however, you want to ensure you get a daily blast of different Christmas music to appear in your feed, do this:


  1. In the top right hand corner of your facebook page there is a little “down arrow.” Click on that.
  2. Scroll down to News Feed Preferences
  3. Click on “Prioritize Who To See First”
  4. That will open a box with everyone you’re following. If you want to make sure you see my posts, simply scroll through your list and click on Tom’s Christmas Music Blog
  5. Click on “Done” to save.


  1. At the bottom of your facebook page all the way to the right of the News Feed tab is a tab titled “More” – tap that.
  2. Scroll down to and tap “Settings.”
  3. Tap “News Feed Preferences” and repeat 3, 4 & 5 above

Pretty simple – and if you do it, you’ll see and hear all of my posts (and thanks btw).

As always, I have some really great ‘off the beaten path’ Christmas music planned. Thanks for following. We’ll chat tomorrow.



Final Post of 2015 – Happy New Year

December 31, 2015

Well, this is it, the final post of 2015. The post where I resolve to read more, eat less and be a better all around human being (for a couple weeks anyway). Before I get to the three featured songs tonight, a big thank you to all of you who are following and have followed this blog for the past nine years. The Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, I’ll check-in around Thanksgiving 2016, and get back to it on December 1, 2016.

I’m featuring three songs tonight.

Tar Barrel In Dale is a tune from the Unthanks. Tar Barrel in Allendale is an annual New Year’s Eve festival that says farewell to the past 12 months and dates back to the Dark Ages. You can read more about it here.

The Unthanks is a folk band from Northern England and is led by sisters, Rachel and Becky Unthank. Their music is very moody and very original. I first discovered them back in 2011 when they released their fourth record, Last. Here’s a link to the title track. Last is a beautiful recording.

Secondly, All Glory Be To Christ is a Kings Kaleidoscope song with lyrics sung to the tune of Auld Lang Syne. I featured Kings Kaleidoscope back on December 3. You can read up on them here. It’s a wonderful take on the old New Year’s Eve classic.

Finally, I’m featuring an absolutely beautiful, straight up take on the Robert Burns poem from Eddi Reader.
Reader hails from Glasgow and has been singing professionally since the early 80’s when she was a background vocalist for the punk band, Gang of Four (i remember them well from my college radio days).

In 2003 Reader released Sings The Songs of Robert Burns. Reader’s fellow Scotsman, Robert Burns is credited with writing Auld Lang Syne in or around 1788, but there is some dispute as to the song’s origin.

Reader’s take on the song is pretty much a straight up version with the original Scottish lyrics. It is perhaps the most beautiful vocal of the song I’ve ever heard.

That’s all for 2015. Happy New Year. See you in 2016.

Tar Barrel In Dale – The Unthanks

All Glory Be To Christ – Kings Kaleidoscope

Auld Lang Syne – Eddi Reader


One Last Shot At Christmas, Then On To New Year’s Eve

December 30, 2015

Tomorrow night I’ll be featuring a song about an odd new year’s eve tradition, a different take on Auld Lang Syne and then perhaps the best ever musical rendition of the Robert Burns poem. Which means tonight is the last chance (for this blog anyway) to play a Christmas tune. I had a request from a friend for Lou Rawls’ Little Drummer Boy. Years ago, the first LP this friend ever bought was a Lou Rawls LP. It’s quite possible I was with him at the time. Here it is.

Little Drummer Boy – Lou Rawls

BB King – Please Come Home For Christmas

December 29, 2015

The music world lost a good one this year. Riley B. (B.B.) King passed away on May 14th, 2015 at the age of 89.

King released a Christmas record, A Christmas Celebration of Hope, back in 2001. It was not met with great reviews. In his review for Allmusic, Richie Unterberger awarded the album 2.5 out of 5 stars and called the collection an “adequate, good-humored reprisal”. Unterberger thought only “Please Come Home for Christmas” was overproduced and concluded his review with the statement: “It’s hardly the first King you’ll pull off your shelf, and not the first R&B Christmas album you’ll turn to either, but you could do worse in the holiday season.”

The song I’m featuring tonight is best known (for my generation anyway) as an Eagles recording. However, Please Come Home for Christmas was written and recorded by Charles Brown in 1960 and has been covered by Johnny and Edgar Winter, Bon Jovi, Willie Nelson, Kelly Clarkson, John Mayer and many, many others. (BTW, the Eagles version of the song features the very first recording of Timothy B Schmidt as the bassist for the band.)

Despite the tepid review, it’s still great to hear BB King sing and play guitar.

Please Come Home for Christmas – B.B. King

A Perfect Song for a Snowy Night

December 28, 2015

White Winter Hymnal – Fleet Foxes  

I just got in from shoveling ice and snow so I’ll feature a song that is perfect for a night like this. White Winter Hymnal from the Seattle area band, Fleet Foxes.

White Winter Hymnal – Fleet Foxes

All I Ever Get For Christmas Is Blue – Over The Rhine

December 27, 2015

All I Ever Get For Christmas Is Blue from Over The Rhine.

Over The Rhine is an Ohio band. In 2006 they released a very original Christmas record, Snow Angels. The record is unique as it does not feature any ‘traditional’ Christmas songs. Every song on Snow Angels was written by the band. Pretty cool. It’s not all my cup of tea, but the song I’m featuring tonight is outstanding, especially if you get the post-Christmas blues. Give it a listen.

All I Ever Get For Christmas Is Blue – Over The Rhine

Posting Through New Year’s Eve

December 26, 2015

It always bugged me that the minute the clock strikes midnight, everything Christmas gets quickly packed up and put away like it never happened.

As I’ve mentioned before, at my first radio station, during the first week of December, we’d play one Christmas song an hour. Two in week two and so on. Then, from the 26th through the end of the year we’d wind it back down. That’s pretty much what I do each year with this blog.

Tonight’s featured song is perfect for starting the wind-down. It’s from Gabe Dixon and is titled, Don’t Wanna Let Christmas Go. It’s from his The Christmas EP, released in 2013

Dixon is a very talented pianist and songwriter. In addition to his band (The Gabe Dixon Band), Dixon is currently the keyboardist for the band Supertramp and has played piano in Paul McCartney’s band. Pretty good company.

So if you’re not entirely ready to pack it all away, give a listen to a great tune from Gabe Dixon.

Don’t Wanna Let Christmas Go – Gabe Dixon

Wake Up, It’s Christmas Morning

December 25, 2015

Rob Mathes singing Wake Up It’s Christmas Morning. Studio and live below.
Great tune, perfect for Christmas morning (I love this song).

(Remember, I’ll be posting through New Year’s Eve. Have a great day!)

In my mind there is bread on the table
Wood on the fire
In my mind we are gathered together
To celebrate our heart’s desire
I close my eyes I see a prince on a camel
A shepherd boy running fast
Both headed in the same direction
Towards a baby in the grass

And I see as generations pass
The miracle gets harder to behold
In a dream I’m face to face with my Lord
This is what I’m told

Wake up it’s Christmas morning
Wake up there’s work to be done
Gather ’round you band of angels
Gather ’round the permanent One
Wake up it’s Christmas morning
Wake up it’s Christmas morning
Come and behold the broken hearted
It’s for their sake
He has come

Im my mind I see a revolution
Fought for those in need
Led by a Man with a great ambition
Of hungry hearts to feed
And this leader
He is gentle and kind
He carries no weapons at all
Just the life that was given to the lost and forgotten
That I might heed His call

Wake up it’s Christmas morning
Wake up there’s work to be done
Gather ’round you band of angels
Gather ’round the permanent One
Wake up it’s Christmas morning
Wake up it’s Christmas morning
Come and behold the broken hearted
It’s for their sake
He has come

Emanuel behold Him
Emanuel behold Him
Emanuel behold Him
Emanuel behold Him
Emanuel behold Him
Emanuel behold Him
Emanuel behold Him

In my mind I see a worried father
Keep Him warm wrapping tight
In my mind I see a loving mother
Cradle Him through the night
And in comes a shepherd boy
Arriving at his destination proud
Well I wonder if he knew
What that child was gonna do
When the angels were talking about

Wake Up It’s Christmas morning
Wake up there’s work to be done
Gather ’round you band of angels
Gather ’round the permanent One
Wake up it’s Christmas morning
Wake up it’s Christmas morning
Come and behold the broken hearted
It’s for their sake
He has come

Ohh ohhh
It’s for their sake he has come
Wake up
Wake up
Wake up It’s Christmas morning
Wake up there’s work to be done
Gather ’round
Gather ’round
Gather ’round the permanent One
Wake up
Wake up there’s work to be done
Gather ’round
Come on
Gather ’round the permanent One

Wake Up It’s Christmas Morning – Rob Mathes (Studio)

Wake Up It’s Christmas Morning – Rob Mathes (live)

Listen To Marc Martel Sing O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (It’s Worth It)

December 24, 2015

Marc Martel is the lead singer of the band, Downhere. He has an amazing voice. So good that when Queen’s drummer, Roger Taylor was putting together a Queen tribute band, Martel got the gig. (And you can certainly hear some Freddie Mercury in Martel’s voice and style.)

A couple weeks ago, Martel released a phenomenal version of O Come, O Come Emmanuel (below). Last year, just prior to Christmas, he released O, Holy Night, also below.

Really not much else to say. The man has talent.

That and Merry Christmas.

O Come, O Come Emmanuel – Marc Martel

O Holy Night – Marc Martel

Happy Anniversary Ann Heiden

December 20, 2015

Ann Heiden and I were married exactly 23 years ago to the day (December 20, 1992 – it was a Sunday) in Lake Geneva, WI.

She’s stuck with me all these years and I still love her deeply.

Happy Anniversary Ann.

Two videos I put together to follow (I really need to make a new one).

I Know The Reason – Mindy Smith

This is an original


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